Tempe, Arizona (NAPSI) - With mortgage rates still low, now could be a great time to buy a new home. Before diving into the market headfirst, however, it’s important to do your homework so that you’re prepared to tackle each hurdle in the homebuying process. With this in mind, the “What I Wish I Knew About the Homebuying Process” survey gauges the preparedness of recent homebuyers. As a result, these five tips can help you make the right homebuying decision.

1. Identify your “must-haves.” Identifying your “must-haves” is key to guaranteeing satisfaction with your home purchase. The survey found that nearly four in 10 recent homebuyers (39 percent) said that, knowing what they know now, they would buy a home of a different size, at a different price point, and/or in a different area. In addition, first-time homebuyers (55 percent) are more likely to say that they would make significant changes with respect to the home’s size, price and/or location. To help you look back regret-free, make a checklist of top priorities (access to a good school district, for example) and perks you can forgo (such as a multiple-car garage). Know what you’re willing to compromise on and what you are not so that you’re prepared to find the home that’s right for you.

2. Understand the financial aspects of the homebuying process. Nine of every 10 recent homebuyers felt prepared going into the homebuying process, but in hindsight, more than half (56 percent) wish they had been armed with more knowledge about the financial aspects of purchasing a home, according to the survey. In fact, it found that recent homebuyers would have liked more knowledge about the ins and outs of the closing and settlement process (22 percent), negotiating/making an offer on a home (19 percent) and financing a home (15 percent). To help people overcome the challenges of buying a home and give them a primer on what to expect, Chase launched the My New Home app and YouTube Channel.

3. Prepare with technology. Key aspects of the homebuying process differed from expectations. A majority said the length of the process was not what they anticipated, saying it either took longer (40 percent) or shorter (16 percent) than expected. Thirty-four percent of recent homebuyers overall said the costs and fees of maintaining their home were more than they expected, with the sentiment especially felt by first-time homebuyers (55 percent). Chase’s My New Home suite of educational tools can help individuals and families avoid surprises and fully prepare for one of the biggest purchases they will ever make.

4. Seek out advice from experts. Homebuyers continue to rely on Realtors and mortgage bankers to meet their needs. Sixty-eight percent of homeowners sought out advice from Realtors throughout the homebuying process and about half (45 percent) turned to mortgage bankers and loan officers. Seek out Realtors, mortgage bankers and loan officers with key industry data and tools that are easy to understand so you have all the information you need to find the right house—one that you will be proud to call home.

5. Consider the desire to renovate. The desire to renovate is bound to hit even the newest of homeowners. While recent homebuyers said the home they bought aligns well with their “must-have” list (97 percent) and considered the home move-in ready (83 percent), 76 percent have done or are planning to make renovations to their home in the near term, according to the survey. A Chase Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is one product that homeowners can continue to rely on to put their ideas and visions into action.