Congratulations! After years of renting an apartment or crashing at the in-laws, you’re ready to be a homeowner. While you daydream about diving into your private swimming pool or hosting your friends to watch Monday night football on your super comfortable couches, there are some important steps to take so that buying your dream home doesn’t turn into a nightmare. In this blog post we’ll discuss three crucial steps.

Make a master list

Sit down with your family and write down your must haves, nice to haves, and extra bonuses. Try to have this sit down when you aren’t in a rush and are relaxed, that way you’ll be able to focus with a clear head. take copies of the list to friends houses and other houses you visit so you can revise your list as you start really thinking about what you want in your own home.

Pay attention to ‘staging’

Often, homes are staged and decorated nicely for open houses or viewing appointments. It is important to keep in mind how the home will look without all those beautiful couches, rugs, and lamps; for, just like in Hollywood, not everything you see in a ‘for sale’ home is as glamorous as it appears.

Enjoy the process

For most people house hunting isn’t generally thought of as a fun activity, but focusing on how you’re about to make your family’s life so much better makes the search exciting. Surprises are bound to arise, therefore it is helpful to keep an open mind. If you prepared properly for the process by calculating how much you can spend, deciding what type of home you’d like to buy, knowing which neighborhoods you’d like to live in, as well as finding brokers and mortgage lenders that are right for you, then feel good that in the end you’ll be a winner with your family’s dream home.