Just because many Americans live in their house less than six years, doesn’t mean that you can’t come to love a house until it hurts emotionally to even think about moving. In fact, you’d be among more than about a third of America’s homeowners if you stayed in your house for 10 or more years.

Houses are a lot more than brick and mortar

During those 10 or more years, you’d build memories. You’re sure to do this even if you don’t have children. There’s the decorating, general maintenance and landscaping. There’s also holiday gatherings, fine dining and hours resting on the sofa or in bed at night.

These are just a few of the experiences that turn a house into a vital part of your personal history. Live in a house long enough, raising children and caring for grandchildren when they visit on weekends, holidays and during summer, and you might not recall some of the warmest experiences in your life without seeing yourself in your house.

Yet, warm memories are not going to stop your house from aging. Warm memories won’t stop your house’s pipes from turning fragile, the roof from leaking or the floor from curling or sagging. If you’re up in your years, your adult children or friends could stop by and help with repairs.

Take the sting out of leaving an old house

After awhile, even this may not suffice. You may have to face the fact that it’s time to move. Give yourself time to adjust to looking for another house, perhaps a smaller, more modern home. Or perhaps you’ve decided to move into an apartment,the type of place you won’t have to repair and maintain.

To adjust to moving out of a house with history, be sure to pack your pictures. Bring them with you to your new home. Discuss the idea of moving with family and friends. Don’t bury your decision to move.

It also helps to write how you feel about moving out of your old house in a journal. Just getting the words on paper can make you feel better, can help you to feel empowered enough to take your memories with you to a new place.

After you decide on a house or apartment to move into, solicit the support of family and friends. Turn the move into a supportive event. Pull out your iPod and play your favorite songs. Let yourself laugh and recall fun times that you experienced in the house.

You could even take pictures of the move. Do the same when you arrive at your new home. After all, you’re going to create warm memories at your new home too, the very memories that may one day be among your dearest.

Even with these steps, it may take months to adjust emotionally and psychologically to living in a new home. Be patient with yourself, the same as you would be with a good friend.

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Buying a home should be a quick, simple process. However, the homebuying cycle sometimes proves to be a hassle, particularly for those who are shopping for a house for the first time.

Lucky for you, there are many quick, easy ways to become a smart homebuyer – here are three tips to ensure you can make informed decisions throughout the homebuying journey.

1. Check Out a Broad Array of Houses

Purchasing a home can be a fun, exciting journey, especially if you explore a wide range of residences.

Remember, the more residences you check out, the more likely it becomes that you’ll find one that matches or exceeds your expectations.

When you review houses, be sure to analyze each property’s interior and exterior closely. That way, you can identify any problem areas and determine whether these issues are potential deal-breakers.

Also, don’t hesitate to check out the same house multiple times. It never hurts to take a second look at a house. And if you find that you enjoy a home after a second walk-through, you may be ready to submit an offer on this residence.

2. Set a Homebuying Budget

Before you make an offer on a house, it is important to consider exactly what you can afford. By doing so, you can avoid the temptation to overspend in the hopes of acquiring your dream house.

Many homebuyers get pre-approved for a mortgage – something that may prove to be exceedingly valuable.

With pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will know exactly how much money he or she can spend on a home. This will enable a homebuyer to enter the housing market with a budget in hand and map out his or her home search accordingly.

Furthermore, consider your monthly expenses prior to submitting a home offer. Electricity and assorted utility expenses can add up quickly, so you’ll want to account for these costs. And if you want cable and internet services at your new home, you’ll want to evaluate these potential expenses as well.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market professional, and as such, will help you simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you to understand your homebuying needs. He or she then will help you develop a homebuying strategy, one that ensures you can purchase your ideal house at a budget-friendly price.

With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble acquiring a wonderful residence. This housing market professional will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new property listings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. As a result, a real estate agent will guarantee you can get the best results possible throughout the home selling journey.

Don’t leave anything to chance as you kick off your home search. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can become a smart home shopper in no time at all.

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