Maria DiCarlo's Blog
The homebuying journey may be long and arduous, regardless of whether you're pursuing a house for the first time. However, if you bring your A-game to the homebuying journey, you can speed up the process of finding and acquiring your dream residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you bring your A-game to the homebuying journey.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
There is no need to waste time and resources as you search for your ideal residence. Thankfully, with homebuying criteria in hand, you can streamline your home search.
Consider the cities and towns where you may want to reside. Then, you can narrow your house search to a select group of cities and towns.
Also, think about the features you want in your dream house. If you want to own a residence that offers a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, for example, you can hone your house search accordingly. Or, if you require a home that provides multiple spacious bedrooms, you can pursue houses that match your criteria.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Pre-approval for a mortgage is paramount, particularly for homebuyers who want to know exactly how much they can spend on a residence. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage in no time at all.
Of course, when you meet with banks and credit unions, don't hesitate to ask home financing questions. Banks and credit unions employ knowledgeable home financing professionals who can teach you about the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and much more. As such, these professionals can help you make an informed mortgage selection.
You should consult with a variety of banks and credit unions, too. That way, you can learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal and choose a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Ultimately, there is no reason to work alone when you search for your ideal home. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert guidance as you navigate the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the housing market and is happy to share his or her homebuying insights with you. Plus, a real estate agent will craft a plan to help you quickly discover your dream home. And if you are concerned about acquiring a house at the lowest-possible price, a real estate agent is ready to negotiate with a home seller on your behalf as well.
Furthermore, a real estate agent can guide you through the home closing cycle. He or she will help you finalize your home purchase and ensure you can relocate to a new house without delay.
Bringing your A-game to the homebuying journey can make a world of difference in any housing market. By using the aforementioned tips, you can simplify your home search and accelerate the process of acquiring your dream residence.
The homebuying journey may be complicated, particularly for those who fail to plan for it. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to boost your chances of enjoying a successful property buying experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you start a successful homebuying journey.
1. Establish Criteria for Your Home Search
Create homebuying criteria – you'll be glad you did. With homebuying criteria in hand, you can speed up the process of finding your dream residence.
Think about the features you want to find in your ideal house. For example, if you want to own a residence that boasts a luxurious in-ground swimming pool, you can search for houses that offer this feature. Or, if you want to purchase a home that includes a central air conditioning system, you can hone your house search accordingly.
Don't forget to consider where you want to reside too. If you prefer big city life over small town living – or vice-versa – you should account for this factor as you kick off your house search.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Obtaining a home mortgage is key, especially for individuals who want to streamline the homebuying process. Luckily, banks and credit unions are happy to help you select the right mortgage based on your individual needs.
Banks and credit unions employ friendly mortgage specialists who can take the guesswork out of home financing. If you meet with these professionals, you can learn about all of your mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Navigating the homebuying journey on your own may prove to be exceedingly difficult, regardless of whether you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market. However, if you hire a real estate agent, you can simplify your house search and discover your dream residence without delay.
A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the housing market and will share his or her expertise with you. That way, you can work with a real estate agent to become a housing market expert.
In addition, a real estate agent offers comprehensive support throughout the homebuying journey. He or she first will craft a custom homebuying strategy for you based on your property buying goals. Next, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about available houses in your preferred cities and towns. Once you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase it. Finally, a real estate agent will guide you through the home closing process.
For those who want to enjoy a quick, easy homebuying experience, it usually is a good idea to plan ahead as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can launch a successful homebuying journey and take the necessary steps to acquire your dream residence any time you choose.
When you make the decision to buy your first home, you should be certain that you’re ready to make the leap into homeownership. There’s many different things that you should do as a buyer to get ready before you even set out on the search of a perfect home.
Choose An Agent
You may think that one real estate agent is the same as any real estate agent that you’ll find. This is far from the truth. Some agents have certain specialties. The knowledge that an agent will bring to your house hunt is often invaluable. You are making one of the biggest purchases that you’ll ever make in your lifetime. While many buyers think that they can simply do an online search themselves to find a home, your realtor will have many more resources to assist you in finding exactly what you’re looking for.
Figure Out The Financial Portion Of Buying A Home
While knowing how many bedrooms you need and where you hope to live is important, understanding your finances is even more important. You’ll need to talk to a lender to get the process started. After looking at your own personal budget, you should get pre-qualified. Getting pre-qualified allows you to see a general number of how much house you can afford. That can help you start the process, however, there’s still a few more steps.
From here, you can do what needs to be done to get your entire financial picture ready to buy a home. This includes saving for a downpayment, improving your credit score, and continuing to keep up bill payments and consistent work history.
Next, you’ll want to get pre-approved. This allows your lender to dig into your financial picture. Everything from your credit score to your income and employment history will be considered. Your lender will then give you a more definitive number of how much you’ll actually be able to get for a loan when you buy a home. To get pre-approved, be prepared with 1099 forms, pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements. You’ll then have the concrete amount that you’re approved for along with the interest rate that you qualify for.
Once You Have Applied For A Home Loan
Once you find the realtor to assist you and secure the home of your dreams, you’re not free to head out and buy all the furniture that you need to fill up your house. The home loan must go through the underwriting process and until that is complete, your finances are essentially on lockdown. If you start opening new credit cards, decide to buy a car, or fall behind on payments, you could end up in a lot of trouble. You want to keep your credit score stable throughout the process of buying a home for smooth sailing.
You may think of downsizing as something that makes sense when you have an empty nest. Larger families do, of course, need more room. Downsizing can also be financially strategic and rewarding for you and your family if you have the opportunity to do so.
How Much Is Your Home Worth?
There comes a point in your life when the amount of money that your home is worth is very important. Maybe you need the money for retirement and are looking to move to a cheaper city or state. Maybe it’s time for you to pursue your goals and dreams. Whatever the reason, your home is a very large asset.
If you downsize, you’ll have a bit more money available to invest for your future. You may even consider buying an investment property. If all of your money isn’t tied up in a home, you’ll have a bit more freedom to do other things with your money.
A Smaller Home Means Smaller Expenses
When you downsize your home you end up with much lower expenses for your housing. You’ll save big on both utilities and home maintenance. You’ll be surprised as to how much extra cash you’ll have each and every month that you’ll be able to use for other things like investing, travel, or other expenses. You’ll have the ability to do things beyond simply achieve that one dream goal of home ownership.
What If You Don’t Already Own A Home?
There’s a lesson to be learned here for renters as well. If you’re getting ready to buy a home, you may want to think small. A smaller home that can suit your needs will allow you to save thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage on your home. Remember that a mortgage payment is more than just the cost of the home. You’ll need to include things like taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance, heating, electricity, and more. The smaller the house that you buy, the less all of these things will cost. Think of what you could do if you invested that extra money that you saved on all of these things each month.
What Would You Do With The Money You Save?
Having a big, beautiful home is a fantastic goal to achieve. You may have other dreams that you want to pursue in addition to owning a home. While downsizing isn’t for everyone, many people use the money they save to do some pretty incredible things like:
- Go back to school
- Buy a vacation home
The Negatives Of Downsizing
If you move into a smaller home, there are a few drawbacks. For one, you’ll have less storage and will actually need to downsize your amount of belongings as well. You’ll also have less room for visitors if hey come to stay. If grandkids frequent your home, you may be hesitant to sell and find a smaller place. It may also be difficult to find what you’re looking for at a certain price in a specific area. Think carefully before you decide to downsize and see if it has the right benefits for you.
If relocation and house hunting is in the foreseeable future for you and your family, making a list of requirements and preferences will help ensure that you're satisfied with your next home.
Checklists are available from a variety of sources, including real estate agents and The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
While it's nearly impossible to find an affordable property that's a short drive from everywhere and that meets all your requirements, creating a prioritized list will help you clarify your goals and help you get the real estate features that are the most important to you and your family. Having a well organized list of priorities will also make it easier and more practical for your real estate agent to locate properties for sale that are aligned with your needs and preferences.
While the ideal home should be comfortably close to jobs, schools, childcare, and supermarkets, there are other conveniences and necessities that are sometimes overlooked by home buyers. Here are a few additional items to consider:
- Medical and dental offices: Although it's difficult find the ideal house that also happens to be located just a short drive from all your family's medical and dental care providers, it's a goal worth considering when evaluating different properties. Being close to a preferred hospital can also be a desirable feature -- especially if you expect to be looking for top-quality maternity care in the near future.
- Houses of worship: If you and your family attend religious services several times a month, it would definitely make life easier to live a short distance from your favorite church, synagogue, or mosque.
- Automotive services: When you need an oil change, state inspection, AC maintenance, or car repair, it's much more convenient to have it taken care of close to home.
- Transportation: Whether this item ranks high or low on your priority list depends on how often you plan on traveling for work, business, vacations, college, or family visits. For some people, proximity to airports, train stations, bus depots, and major highways can be a major benefit.
- Recreational facilities: For families with active lifestyles, being close to tennis courts, golf courses, fitness clubs, playgrounds, walking trails, and other recreation facilities would be considered a big "plus". For others... not so much.
- Entertainment: Again, it depends on individual lifestyles, but some people enjoy going to the movies, restaurants, concerts, and the theater on a regular basis.