If you’re thinking about buying a home next year, your timing couldn’t be better: Prices are stabilizing, the economy is strong, and there’s plenty of available inventory. In fact, some experts say we’re heading into a buyer’s market, which means your home-buying dollar could go farther. If you want to purchase a home in early 2019, here’s how to make your New Year’s Resolution come to life.
4 Steps to Take
- Know what you can afford. Starting with a budget – and sticking with it – helps narrow down the search process, and it can also prevent you from overspending. When setting your own price, don’t forget to consider property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, maintenance, home insurance, and recurring costs that can take a big bite from your budget. Factor in any upcoming changes in your income to appropriately set your budget for your expected timeline.
- Work to raise your credit score. A higher score and a strong report mean you can get a much better rate. Considering most people have a mortgage for 30 years or more, even a small difference in the interest rate can add up in savings over the life of the loan. You can start doing some things while searching for a home or doing research to increase your score such as paying your bills on time and not opening or closing new credit cards in a short period of time as this requires a credit check.
- Anticipate your down payment. The amount you put down can have an impact on the rate you get, and it also determines whether you need to pay PMI (private mortgage insurance). Some loans have restrictions on where your down payment can come from (for instance, some mortgages may disallow gift money). Know what you’ll need for a home down payment in your budget, and start saving now. Don’t make any large purchases as it can not only lower the amount you have for a down payment but can impact your credit score.
- Get familiar with the market. Getting a feel for what’s available in your target area can help you anticipate sales prices so you can save accordingly. Plus, knowing which features are commanding top dollar can be helpful in whittling down your “must-have” list – or maybe suggest some desirable home features you hadn’t thought of before.
Use Your Agent
No doubt about it, the home-buying process can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Working with a qualified and experienced real estate agent early in that process can ensure you do all you can to be ready to make an offer when the market heats up. The Parker Group helps buyers just like you find their next home with market insights and analysis to set your mind at ease. If you’re planning on buying a home next year, call The Parker Group and speak with an agent today.