Ryan Connolly Buying a home is most likely the largest purchase you will ever make. There is no surprise this can be quite a stressful experience. However, even in this volatile marketplace, it is possible to maintain your sanity in the midst of a real estate deal. Here are two money, mindset and calendar management strategies for buying a home, without stressing entirely out:

Be prepared --

Scrambling for money and documents that the lender, unexpectedly, “requires” to close has got to rank up there in the top couple of stressors that buyers experience. Once you get into contract and, especially, once you’ve removed contingencies and put your deposit money on the line, every request that your lender makes seems like a ransom demand for your home. Avoid this scrambling by being prepared. If you are planning to buy a home down the road, consult a mortgage broker and real estate pro early on in your planning process, so you can know what kind of cash you'll realistically need to close the deal - before you start the buying process.

If given a range, err on the high side - penny-scraping buyers are generally the most stressed of them all, as they are the ones whose deals are most likely to be entirely derailed if there’s an uptick in interest rates or if the homeowners’ insurance costs a bit more than they planned. And have all your documents ready, too - things like divorce decrees, tax returns, updated check stubs, documentation of bills that you’ve recently paid down or off, even driver’s licenses - keep all these items at the ready in case your lender requires them.

Last, but not least, there’s also an education element to preparedness. Work with your agent to educate yourself about the standard practices and timelines for a real estate transaction in your local market. Even more so if you’re buying a bank-owned property or a short-sale. Distressed property sales can provide advantages in the form of price, but provide many other issues some buyers are not prepared for.