When you are shopping for a home for the first time, the experience is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Home buying is a serious commitment, and the process of making offers, signing papers, and getting approved for financing can cause real anxiety, especially for first-time buyers who don't know what to expect. There are so many "what-ifs" that come with homeownership, and many times buyers can begin to feel regret and doubt over their decisions. Here are some tips for calming your first-home worries.

1. Remember you are only buying one house.

This seems like a simple tip, but it can be one that many newbie buyers forget. With the search for the "perfect" house in the right neighborhood at the right price point, buyers can become overwhelmed during the search, viewing several properties and noting the pros and cons of them all. After a long day of house hunting, you can help to reduce feelings of being overwhelmed by reminding yourself you only need to find one house -- every house you look at is a contender, but after everything is said and done, you'll choose the one that seems like the best fit. This thought can be empowering for buyers. 

2. Set your budget and stick to it. 

Most buyers start looking for home after they have been pre-approved for a mortgage by lenders. However, your pre-approval rate and what you can actually afford are two different things. Sit down with your realtor and work out the actual cost of purchasing the home, and what your mortgage will look like compared to your other expenses. Much anxiety comes from the feeling that you will be in over your head financially after closing. Also, don't forget to budget for the costs of buying the home itself -- these costs can sometimes blindside buyers who are on a tight budget. For example, you will have to pay for inspections, appliances, and appraisals -- often even before your closing date. Having some extra money set aside for unexpected costs can really help reduce the stress of the experience. 

3. Prepare yourself for setbacks.

Nothing goes exactly as planned when buying a home. Your closing date may get pushed back repeatedly as you wait for underwriting to be complete or as you wait for the seller to close on their next home and move out. Negotiating the purchase price might take longer or end up being more expensive than you thought. Competing offers might cause you to lose the home you offered on. If you remind yourself to be flexible during the journey, you will feel less anxious when the buying process hits a snag. 

4. Trust yourself before listening to others.

One thing that can bring on the buyer's remorse is the comments and questions for friends and family. You might have loved the house when you put in an offer, but when your parents, siblings, or friends come to see it, they might point out negatives that you did not notice (or care about). With too many naysayers, you might question your choice and wish you had kept looking for a new home longer. It's a good idea to remind yourself of the reasons you personally picked the home in the first place. Also, when you paid for a home inspection, you learned about the issues and repairs that were needed. Trust your decisions, and if something a family member says holds water, talk to your realtor about your options for changing the terms of your purchase. 

Buying a home can be a nerve-wracking challenge. But when you are prepared and have a good real estate agent on your side, you can feel calm and reasonable throughout the process.