Five Star Logo
Seattle Five Star award winner

5 Things About Buying a Home That Arent as Scary as They Seem

Buying a home is a huge decision. Whether it's your first time or you're "moving up" from one type of residence to another, it can seem like a commitment of monumental proportions. And that commitment can be downright scary at times.

But most people do it, scary or not. The homeownership rate in the United States alone, even after years of lagging recent historical norms, is around 65 percent. That means about two-thirds of the adult population become homeowners, scary or not.

Maybe that means people get over their fears. Or maybe, those fears aren't all they're cracked up to be. Here are five things about buying a home that people are afraid of, even though perhaps they shouldn't be.

Too many or too few choices

Every market is different, but homebuyers in a market where there are relatively few homes for sale can feel there aren't enough choices, and buyers in markets where there are a lot of homes for sale, can feel overwhelmed by how many choices there are.

No buyer has control over these very different scenarios. It is, as they say, what it is. If you're in an area that doesn't have a ton of homes for sale, you can take comfort in the fact that your options are narrowed down for you and that, when you buy a home, it's likely to increase in value rather quickly.

In markets where you have so many choices that it's tough to whittle down what's best for you, you can take solace in knowing you can get what you want, and it will probably come at a discount.

Applying for a mortgage

Borrowing the money to buy a home can be daunting. But it's not as bad as it once was. Since the foreclosure crisis, lending standards have become more uniform, and what was known as "predatory lending" is mostly a thing of the past.

Basically, you either qualify, or you don't. Every buyer, no matter which lender they approach, must supply the same information, like bank statements, W2 forms, tax returns, etc. And it's all math. The income-and-debt numbers, combined with your credit score, form a risk picture for the lender. The risk picture that's painted is more standardized and reliable than it has probably ever been.

These days, when a professional tells you how much home you can afford, it's likely more accurate an assessment than ever before. And it's likely the same for everyone. Lending uniformity is the name of the game now.

Hidden costs

Thanks to HGTV, it's easy to become worried that a property you buy isn't all it was cracked up to be. How many real estate reality shows rely on the drama of a home containing hidden costs that sneak up on buyers/renovators unexpectedly?

The truth is that with today's thorough home inspections, disclosures, and even appraisal regulations, the chances of the average homebuyer getting stuck with a home that is some sort of unanticipated money pit are slim.

Lack of information

Plenty of homebuyers fall in love with a home and fall into the trap of thinking that if something's too good to be true, it probably is. They tend to feel that things seem TOO right, that they must be missing something.

But home purchases today are not your parents' home purchases. Thanks to the internet and real estate-related sites, you can find out just about anything you need to know about a home, including its past sales prices, the neighborhood it's in, whether it's been foreclosed upon, etc. If a buyer these days feels as though they're making an uninformed decision to purchase, it's literally on them. There is so much information available regarding homes in any given area that wasn't available to buyers just a generation ago.

Poor advice

Real estate professionals aren't the gatekeepers of information they used to be. With the internet so prominent in home buyers' decisions, not only is more information available to them outside of a real estate agent's influence, but online factors compete, often, with the competence that real estate professionals provide.

Agents who don't provide the very best localized, honest advice have gone by the wayside. There is so much readily available information and too much competition nowadays for a real estate agent to steer buyers the wrong way. There's perhaps never been a time when an agent's professional guidance must be as tuned-in to everything regarding a home purchase as right now.

There will always be aspects of buying a home that will make people skittish. For many, it will be the single biggest purchase of their lives. But some of the things that make buying a home scary aren't that scary if you can just take a step back and consider the real circumstances of the process.

*Winners appearing on this page do not pay a fee to be considered or to win the Five Star Award. Professionals with a digital profile have paid a promotional fee.