The year 2021 was a hot year for real estate. We can only imagine that 2022 is going to be more of the same. There are so few properties for sale that they get multiple offers, and people have to pay more than the asking price to buy their next home.
For that reason, you need to have a home buying plan before you start looking at homes. Here are some things that you need to do so that you are prepared to search in the new year.
Find a real estate professional that you trust. It is a lot easier to look for a home once you have the support of a real estate professional. They will be able to walk you through the whole process and make sure that you are ready before you even start house shopping. They will also help you figure out what you are looking for, so that you can focus only on looking at homes that will work for you. Once you find one that you want to live in, your real estate professional will be there every step of the way.
Know what you want and need in a home. It can be hard to distinguish exactly what you want in a home and what you need. You need to figure out how many bedrooms you need, or will need for the future; are you planning on growing your family? Also, if your family lives far away, you may want to have a spare bedroom so that they can come visit. Bathrooms are also important. You may want to make sure that you have at least two bathrooms in your home. Do you want a single level, rancher style home or a multilevel house? If you are unsure, don't be afraid to look at different types, so that you can narrow down your search.
Get pre-approved. It is a good idea to sit down with a mortgage lender before you start looking at homes. Not only will you get started on the paperwork, you will gain a leg up over other people who choose not to get pre-approved. Though pre-approval is optional, in today's market, you are going to need a preapproval letter before putting any bids on a home. If you don't have one, you are not going to win over the five other couples who have one.
Figure out how much you can really afford. That being said, just because you got preapproved for a certain amount doesn't mean that you can really afford that much. Figure out how much you can spend each month on a mortgage. However, you can't forget about other monthly costs that you may have. You are going to have to pay for electricity, phone, water, and other things that can really add up. You also want to save some money to put toward maintenance and repairs. You don't want to spend all of your money on your mortgage, only to realize that you can't enjoy life because you don't have any money left at the end of the month!
Start looking. Once you have a preapproval letter, an idea of how much you really want to spend, and know what you are looking for, it is time to start looking at homes. Take your time and make sure that you love the home that you are going to spend the next few years in!
If you are ready to start looking at homes, don't hesitate to reach out to one of First Savings Mortgage's local expert loan officers to help you get started. We will help you figure out how much you can afford, get you pre-approved, and get you into your dream home as quickly as possible.