Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions going to be to start the search for a new home to move into before 2017 ends? If so, you’ll need to make some plans to actually back that resolution up, as planning is key to a successful real estate hunt. So rather than just utter the intent when the clock strikes midnight resolve to spend that New Year’s Day downtime mapping out the plans that will speed up the process so that you will be fulfilling your resolution in no time. Here are some pointers to help you so just that.
Resolution #1: Deciding What You Want
Heading out on a New Year’s house hunt with a clear idea of just what you are looking for in a home is a must. And your list of requirements should be a little more detailed than just ‘ a nice place with three bedrooms’.
When making a formal ‘wants list’ for your new home take into consideration factors like pricing, location, size, amenities – do you want a pool or an extra-large kitchen for the family chef etc – and design. You should also order your priorities so that you will be prepared to make difficult decisions quickly. If you can’t get a home at your price with all the features you want, then which of your wants are really the most important. Would you be willing to compromise on kitchen size to get the number of bedrooms you want? Would you settle for a slightly longer commute to get the features you want?
Resolution #2: Get Your Financial House in Order
Once you have an idea of what you are looking for it’s time to get realistic and determine what you can afford. How much do you have available for a down payment? What is your monthly budget for a mortgage payment?
Do you have money for closing costs and taxes? Is your financial house in order? Few people can buy a home for cash. 9 out of 10 home buyers finance their purchase, which means that virtually all buyers — especially first-time purchasers — need a loan. You should start the mortgage process before bidding on a home. By meeting with lenders — either online or face to face — and looking at loan options, you will find which programs best meet your needs and how much you can afford.And pre-approval is a virtual must if you want home sellers to take you seriously.
Resolution #3: Find Your Realtor
Buying a home is a far more complex matter than many people realise. It might seem that by checking local picture books or online sites you could quickly find the right home at the right price. But no two properties — ones on the same street — are exactly alike.
Homes differ and so do contract terms, financing options, inspection requirements and closing costs. In this maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, it makes sense to work with professionals who know the community and much more. So taking the time to search for the right Realtor for you is another must.
With these plans in place it’s time to get stuck into the fun part; finding that new home that will be the perfect location for next year’s New Year’s Eve party and a great place to start implementing all the rest of your plans for the future, whatever they may be.