So you want to buy a house in 2017? Here’s our TOP 5 and some very important New Year’s resolutions you should adopt if you want to purchase a home in the coming year according to our professional opinions:
1. Save Your Money!
Buying a home costs money, plain and simple. Even if you are purchasing with a 3.5% down FHA loan, you are still going to need some dinero to take care of any closing costs, down payments, deposits, home inspections, etc.. Yes, there are down payment assistance programs and other options you can take advantage of, but having a cash is never a bad thing, especially when buying a house.
2. Clean Your Credit Up
While you’re saving all of your monthly loot, you should also take care of any ugly stains on your credit. Your credit reports say to potential lenders that you will honor your commitment to a mortgage, or it says you won’t! Your credit and scores don’t need to be spotless and perfect, but the better they are the easier it will be to get a home loan, and you will get a better interest rate too!
3. Pay Off as Much Debt as You Can
A potential lender will look at how much you owe to creditors. They will use how much you owe and how much you make to determine how much they are willing you loan to you. If the cost of the house will put a strain on your finances from the start, the lender is going to be less likely to loan you that amount. And don’t make any major purchases or buy on credit! If you do, make sure to consult your lender, which brings us to #4….
4. Talk with a Good Lender / Get Pre-Qualified
A Good mortgage lender is a great place to really get a handle on what your financial situation needs to purchase the home of your dreams! They can tell you where you currently are are, and how to position your finances and credit to get the type of home you what. So yes, a good lender can help you with #1, #2 and #3 on this list! But when I say “Talk with a Good Lender”, don’t underestimate the emphasis on the word Good. A bad lender can really do some harm to your home buying goals. Just like every mechanic, doctor, and REALTOR® are NOT created equal, not every mortgage broker or lender is created equal either.
And of course get your pre-qualification if your finances are ready- better yet, get a pre-approval with full under-writing!
5. Start Shopping, But Be Honest with Yourself
Everyone wants a mansion on the hill overlooking the city. Unfortunately, these types of properties come with a price too high for most of us. Start shopping homes for sale but be aware that there are other buyers out there. These other buyers are your competition and help create the demand for the homes for sale. Sometimes there is a lot of buyers and the demand is high. Sometimes there are not and so the demand is low. There are a lot of factors that go into how hot the market is or isn’t. And just because you buy in a hot market doesn’t mean you got hosed and bought too high, and visa versa. Having a dependable and experienced REALTOR® can help you understand where the market is at, and what your negotiation strategies should be.
And be honest with what you can afford! Life and your circumstances WILL change over the years. Leave room in your payments and give yourself options for these changes!
Yeah, I know…. All of the above New Year’s resolutions were about money, but buying a home takes a lot of money and is the biggest purchase most people will buy in their lifetime! Here’s a couple other quick tips for buying a home:
- Educate yourself about the home buying process!
- Educate yourself about the area or areas you want to buy!
- Take your time and don’t jump into anything!
- Relax. Yes, this is a big deal, but if you are prudent you will be fine!
- Put the right types of professionals in your corner. Choose a real estate agent and lender you trust, that you feel comfortable with.
Good luck to you and have a Happy New Year! We wish you and your family all the best in 2017. Now I am off to celebrate with mine. We are having prime rib for our celebration!