36189401_sMaking the decision to buy a house and stop renting is a big one. For most people, buying a home is the biggest decision they will make and certainly the largest purchase in a lifetime. The summer months are often a busy time for real estate as families who plan to relocate like to do so while school is out on break. In areas that are highly sought after homes can selling quickly so it is good to have a plan and to be prepared for the process.

Here are some things to get lined out if you are planning on buying a home this summer:

Know your budget. The number one consideration for people buying a house is ‘can we afford it’ – there is no sense even looking at homes that are out of your price range. Take some time to do a little bit of research and learn just how much house you can afford. Things like debt, credit score, and salary are all factors when deciding on an amount. Research your various loan options and get pre-approved for a mortgage so the funds are secured and you know exactly how much you will be spending. You might find that taking a year to improve your credit score will drastically increase your budget amount and might be worth doing. The point is, it is a good idea to go into the house hunting process having all of your financial ducks in a row.

Find an agent. Even though you can search for home listings on your smartphone, it is still important to enlist the help of a real estate expert. Find an agent who has been in the community for years and knows the nuances of the various neighborhoods and parts of town. Someone who you can tell your likes, dislikes, and budget and will suss out that perfect home that fits you and your family.

Know your location. Once you buy your house you will (presumably) be living in it several years. It is important to make the purchase knowing about the area that you are moving into and whether or not it suits your lifestyle. If you have children, it is important to know which schools the home is closest to and where your children will be attending. Sometimes, the school district is the whole reason you are moving and buying a home.

Summer is a season of relaxation, fun in the sun, and making memories with family and friends. If you are planning to add to that list ‘buying a home’ – follow these tips to make sure it is a happy and smooth event!