Heading into spring, we are seeing a seller's market. Homes are only on the market for a few days before multiple offers are coming in. This may be quite discouraging if you are thinking about trying to buy a home during this time, but it shouldn't be. With a little patience (and the right real estate professional), you can find the home of your dreams.
However, before you get started, here are some things that you need to take into consideration.
1. Make sure that you are ready to buy a home
Before you even think about looking at homes, you need to make sure that you are ready. Do you have a steady job (and have for a while)? Do you feel comfortable buying a home and staying there for a few years (at least)? Are you happy in the town where you are looking at homes? It's crucial to look at where you and your family's lives might be not just in the present moment, but perhaps five years down the line.
2. Make sure that your finances are in order
Do you have as much debt paid down as possible? You don't want to buy a home and struggle because you also have a car loan, student loans, and other loans that also need to be paid. Do you have enough money saved for a down payment? The more money that you can put down on a home, the more affordable your home will be.
3. You can't do it on your own
You are going to need a real estate professional who is ready and willing to help. He or she is going to have to check the MLA, or market leasing assumption, regularly to ensure that you can look at any homes that might be right for you. If you find something, you are going to have to be ready to act fast (and write a contract).
4. You need a good mortgage lender
By finding a lender, you are going to be ahead of the game when it comes to buying a home. Instead of finding a home (and then trying to find a way to pay for it), you already know what you can afford. Your mortgage lender will recommend getting pre-approval. Not only will this give you a ballpark estimate on how much you can spend on a home, but you are also already starting the process of buying a home. You will have all of the paperwork ready to go. Your offer will be more likely to be accepted if you have a preapproval letter in with it!
5. Remember that the market is competitive right now
That means that you are going to have to jump on any house that you are considering. You are going to have to schedule a time to look at a home as soon as a good one comes on the market. Often, if you wait a few days, you might lose out on one, so you may be going to see houses the day that they go on the market. You are also going to have to be ready to write a contract, if you are interested. You can't spend a few days thinking about it, or it may be gone.
6. Prepare to pay more than the asking price
It is also important to know that, if you like a home, you are going to have to pay what they are asking (or even more)! You don't have time to go back and forth about the cost because good homes do not last on the market right now. Even if you do write a contract for the asking price or a little higher, you may not get the home that you want because buyers are getting multiple offers.
This is not meant to scare you. Now is a perfect time to find a home, as long as you are ready, and you are willing to move fast. Just make sure that you have a real estate professional and mortgage lender that you trust. Getting preapproved will help you speed up the process so that you can confidently move when you find the home of your dreams! For more help and guidance through the process of buying a new home, consult one of our expert loan officers here at First Savings.