Here are a few key steps to take before buying a new home:
Get pre-approved. Shopping for a lender before you start house hunting can be a huge advantage. Look for someone that offers great rates but also has a good reputation. Having a pre-approval letter is a required when you make an offer as it will show sellers that you have started the process of qualifying to purchase a home. Check with friends, family or your agent for recommendations.
Think about what you want. Knowing what you want in your new home is very important. Make a list of “must haves” and “would like to have” so that you can start thinking about what features you are looking for. Is a garage important to you? Do you want a large yard? Do you like a certain style home? There are countless things you might consider when searching for a home. Having an idea of what you want can help the process run much more quickly and smoothly.
Find a great real estate agent. A good real estate agent will have experience, knowledge of the area, and all of the right connections and tools to lead you in the right direction. You want an agent that will be there to help you every step of the way, which means that they will answer your calls and really keep your best interest in mind. One of the best ways to find a great agent is by word of mouth and referrals from family or friends who have actually worked with the agent before. Your agent will guide you through the process and help narrow down your choices so that you can find the home that best fits your wants and needs.
Keep things realistic. Finding your dream home is not always easy so you may have to compromise on some features. If you have a checklist of “must haves” that is too long, it might be a frustrating. Expect that a home will most likely not have everything you want and also be in your price range. It is also smart to have reasonable expectations of the timeline of buying a home. It can take a few months or longer. Being patient and having realistic goals can go a long way.
Don’t forget to keep these tips in mind if you are considering buying a home in the future. You can save time, money, and your sanity by being well prepared for your home search. Believe it or not, there is a home out there for everyone!