Ready to take the plunge and buy a home? Congrats! It can seem scary, especially to a first-time home buyer, when you realize you’re about to part with more money than you’ve ever spent. And of course, you want the home to meet all your needs, so you don’t have to start the process all over again.

But the good news is you don’t need to worry about everything. In fact, here are 5 things that you can stop worrying about when buying a home.

1. The home inspection is just a guideline

Chances are good that when you get your inspection report back, it’s going to freak you out, and that’s because it’s usually loooooong. But that doesn’t mean that your house is a disaster. It just means that it’s the inspector’s job to point out every cracked light switch and missing gutter.

Of course, some hazards are going to be more expensive to fix than others — for example, you might not want to take on a house that needs a new roof or electrical system because those will be costly to repair or replace. But don’t immediately fret that everything on the list needs to be fixed. Work with your agent to figure out which are potential deal breakers, which you can negotiate costs for, and which ones you just don’t need to worry about.

2. You don’t have to live with their floral wallpaper

When you start your first round of open houses, you’re probably going to be shocked by all the questionable decorating choices you’ll see. But don’t let the current homeowner’s taste (or lack thereof) ruin what might be the ideal house for you. Talk to your agent about which parts of a house are structural (and therefore more challenging and costly to fix) and which are merely cosmetic and can be easily swapped out.

3. You don’t need to visit every single house that’s for sale

The amount of information on homes available at your fingertips is both amazing and daunting. With so many options, you might think you have to do a whirlwind tour of virtually every property out there just in case you’re missing “the one.” But that will make you crazy and isn’t all that effective. A better strategy is to determine your budget by getting prequalified for a mortgage and then making a list of those items that are non-negotiable, whether it’s a house with a garage or one located in a specific school district. Being crystal clear on your criteria will help you narrow your search to a much more manageable number of homes.

4. Everyone finds the mortgage paperwork confusing

Seriously, unless you work in the industry, almost every homebuyer has trouble differentiating their ARM from their APR. But that’s what your mortgage professional and real estate agent are for — to answer each and every financial question you have. Your finances are a big deal so don’t just guess or try to bluff your way through the paperwork process and closing. One more way to know that you are not alone in your paperwork overload? In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau passed a law called “Know Before You Owe,” which ensures you have ample time to review your mortgage closing documents before the big day.

5. Your home insurer has your back

The last thing you want is for something to happen to your beautiful home, whether it’s a burst pipe that mars your flooring or a tornado that whips off the roof. That’s why you want to make sure you have the right coverage to give you peace of mind. Get a free quote today.

Home and garden


about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.