Stephanie Jones, REALTOR's Blog
Buying a home should be a fun, exciting experience, one that ends with you moving into your dream residence. However, problems sometimes can arise that prevent you from accomplishing your ultimate goal.
No homebuyer should be left in the dark, especially when it comes to navigating a competitive real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help you kick off your homebuying journey on the right foot.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you launch a successful homebuying journey.
1. Know Your Homebuying Budget
You know that you'd like to buy a house, but how much can you afford to pay for a residence? With a homebuying budget in place, you can determine exactly what you can afford.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage enables you to enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. Many credit unions and banks are available nationwide, and each lender is happy to provide details about a wide range of mortgage options. That way, you can select a mortgage that matches your finances perfectly.
Also, don't forget to consider the costs of utilities when you budget for a home. And if you need to commute to work or school, you may want to consider your transportation expenses as well.
2. Examine the Housing Market
The housing market usually features a large collection of high-quality houses. Take a look at some of the houses that are currently available, and you can better plan for your homebuying journey.
For example, if there is an abundance of homes available in a city or town where you'd like to live, now may prove to be the ideal time to enter the real estate market. The sheer volume of residences indicates a buyer's market may be in place, so you might be able to boost your chances of acquiring an exceptional house at a budget-friendly price.
On the other hand, if homes are selling quickly in a particular area, it likely means a seller's market is in place. As such, you will need to be aggressive if you want to secure your dream residence at an affordable price.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
The homebuying journey can be daunting, particularly for those who are interested in purchasing a house for the first time. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent possesses comprehensive housing market experience. He or she can share real estate insights with you to ensure you can purchase a great house that meets or exceeds your expectations.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new properties, set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. And if you ever have concerns or questions, a real estate agent can respond to them immediately.
Ready to make your homeownership dreams come true? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can enter the real estate market as an informed homebuyer.
Want to own a house? Enter the real estate market today, and you can take the first step to make your homeownership dream come true.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to launch a home search sooner rather than later, and these include:
1. You can search for houses in cities and towns across the United States.
There is no shortage of top-notch homes available in cities and towns nationwide. Regardless of whether you want to live in a small town or a big city, you should have no trouble discovering a great residence at a price that you can afford.
Of course, it often helps to establish homebuying criteria prior to starting a home search. With homebuying criteria in hand, you can accelerate the homebuying journey and find your ideal residence faster than ever before.
2. Many home financing options are available.
Although you've always dreamed of owning a home, money might have been a problem. Lucky for you, banks and credit unions offer many home financing options to make it easy for anyone to purchase a residence.
Lenders are happy to meet with you, explain different mortgage options and respond to your mortgage concerns and questions. Then, once you review all of your mortgage options, you can make an informed home financing decision.
Also, it may be beneficial to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a house before you start a home search. Plus, you can tailor your home search based on your budget and speed up your quest to acquire your ideal home.
3. You can receive expert help throughout the homebuying journey.
One of the biggest challenges for a homebuyer is figuring out exactly what to do at each stage of the property buying journey. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive assistance as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house. As such, he or she will do everything possible to identify and address these challenges before they escalate.
Typically, a real estate agent will learn about you and your homebuying goals. He or she next will teach you about the local housing market and help you craft a homebuying strategy. And when you're ready, you and your real estate agent can work together to find your dream house.
After you discover your dream residence, your real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase this house. If the offer is accepted, your real estate agent will help you navigate the final steps of the homebuying journey. Best of all, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, your real estate agent will respond to them immediately.
Take the guesswork out of finding and buying your ideal residence – reach out to a real estate agent today, and you can begin your quest to find your dream house.
For years home ownership has been the American dream, but, according to the Pew Research Center, a higher percentage of us are renters than at any other time in the last 50 years. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. For many people renting may be the right choice. Every individual and family needs to consider all the factors and make the decision that’s right for them.
The Financial Consideration
There’s a rule of thumb called the price to rent ratio. You get it by dividing the price of a house by the annual rent. For example, if you can buy a house for $300,000 or rent it for $1500 per month, the ratio is 300,000 / (12 * 1500), or 16.7. When the number is 15 or less, buying is the better choice, when it’s 16 to 20, renting becomes more favorable and when it’s over 20 renting is significantly better. However, this fails to take in factors like down payment amount, financing terms, taxes, insurance and other costs, which can vary widely. A more accurate number, telling you how long it will take to cover the up-front costs of ownership and pull even financially with renting, can be found using one of many calculators available.
The Other Considerations
While this sort of calculation is valuable, there are other questions, both financial and lifestyle-related, that the potential renter or buyer must ask.
What can I spend upfront for down payment and closing costs?
Can I afford a major repair such as replacing a furnace or air conditioner? There are insurance-like plans to defray some of that cost, but those make up another annual expense.
How long do I plan to stay? Selling a home and buying a new one is costly and time-consuming.
Which is more important to me, stability or flexibility?
Advantages of Home Ownership
As the inheritor of the American dream, the homeowner has some opportunities and privileges that the renter can’t enjoy.
Appreciation and equity. As home value rises and morgage balance drops, homeowners gain equity, which for many is their most valuable asset.
Freedom to remodel. There’s no landlord telling you what you can and can’t do with your property.
Stable monthly payments. Taxes and insurance can increase, but principal and interest payment remains the same. If you stay there long enough, eventually you’ll have no principal/interest to pay at all.
Tax advantage. For most people, it isn’t what it was before the 2017 tax changes, but interest and taxes may still be deductible.
Stability. You can become a member of your neighborhood and your children can stay in the same school system. No landlord can decide to sell and give you notice.
Advantages of Renting
No large upfront expenses.
Your landlord is responsible for major repairs.
Still some opportunity to build credit by paying rent promptly.
You have less at risk. You won’t be affected if property values fall.
Flexibility. If you choose to move you can easily give notice and do so.
Here’s one last question: which feels better, the satisfaction of owning your own castle or the freedom to change your life quickly? The answer may go a long way toward pointing you in the right direction.
In today’s world, everything is online. You probably have started your home search online as well. It’s plain fun to look at real estate. You can dream of living in a place you can’t afford. You might never see any of those listings that you’re browsing in person. Should you?
No matter when your home search may become a reality, there are a few benefits to seeing houses in person.
You’ll See What Your Money Can Get You
What you want and what you can afford may be far apart. You won’t understand the reality of the housing market unless you see it firsthand. By looking at what’s available on the market at a given time, you will be able to see how much house your dollars will buy you. Knowing what you can afford will help you to keep your expectations in check when you do head out to search for a home. Looking at what homes are on the market can actually help you to help your real estate agent find you something that will suit your needs. There’s nothing worse than telling your agent that you want a home that’s impossible to find.
You’ll Meet Real Estate Agents
By going to open houses, you’ll be able to meet different real estate agents. Through this process, you could very well meet the agent who will help you to find your dream home. If you like the way an agent is helping to sell a home, you’ll very likely get along with them as a buyer.
You Will Know How Much Competition You Have
If you’re attending open houses and find that there are many other people there the same time as you, it could be a sign that the market has tight competition. A lot of open house attendees means that prices are higher because the competition is fierce. You may have to offer above asking price in order to secure a deal on a home.
You’ll Learn Different Areas
Open houses can bring you to places you may have never thought of living before. You’ll get a sense of what different neighborhoods are like if you spend some time exploring through attending open houses.
You’ll Learn What You Can Live With
It’s easy to have a concrete picture in your mind of what you want in a home and what you can deal with. When you see houses firsthand, you may be able to open your mind a bit as to the type of home you’re seeking.
Getting ready to buy a home is one of the most exciting times in life. The purchase of a home is one of the biggest financial decisions that you will ever make in your lifetime. When you make the decision to buy a home. There are a few key things that you need to do to be prepared for the process of a property purchase. It can be simple if you have the right preparation and knowledge.
Find The Right Realtor
A good realtor will steer you in the right direction when it comes to finding the home of your dreams. Your real estate agent also will help you each step of the way on the road to buying that home. There’s a lot of paperwork that must be done in a timely manner throughout the buying process. The right realtor can even help you to get the offer in for the right home in on time. In a competitive market, having a realtor who is on top of things can mean the difference between purchasing the home you want and letting it fall through the cracks.
Know That You’re Signing A Lot Of Legal Paperwork
The purchase of a home does involve a contract. If you need more time for anything such as reviewing your home inspection or waving certain contingencies, you’ll need to state that. Every piece of the transaction is important and needs to be formally processed when it comes to purchasing a home. Your realtor will be there to help you through all of these complicated processes.
Think Of The Future
When you’re choosing a home, you’re not just buying for your life as it stands right now. Are you hoping to have a big family? Do you need a home office? How much entertaining are you planning on doing? All of these things are important when it comes to the type of home that you’ll buy. If you don’t plan for the future, you’ll outgrow the home that you’re in quite quickly.
Look For Potential
See what potential the homes that you’re looking at have for you. Some homes may have major cosmetic issues that can easily be fixed. Perhaps The walls just need some fresh coast of paint. Maybe the deck needs to be stained. If you go into the house search with an open mind, it will be a lot easier for you to find the right home. You don’t need a home that is absolutely move-in-ready unless of course, you’re building a brand new home from scratch.
Know Your Finances
One of the most important things about buying a home is knowing your finances. Don’t buy a home that you can‘t afford. From looking at your own budget to getting pre-approved, you’ll be able to have a better understanding of your own financial situation and how much house you can afford.