So you have decided that you are going to buy a home in 2018! Great!! Now here are some tips to make sure you get it done and don’t have problems!!
First – Prepare for sticker shock – not terrible, but home prices are going up. With inventory low at this point, the spring market coming, there will be more buyers looking at the homes that are out there. It may make prices go up and we may see more mulitple offers again – seems like the same story of the last few years!
Second – Get your mortgage approval early! The last thing you want to happen is to find a home you love and it sells before you have time to get your mortgage approval. Plus that way you know what you can afford and you won’t waste your time looking at homes you love, but can’t buy!
Third – Know your credit score and put away your credit cards! You want to keep your credit score as high as you can – better interest rates that way! If you use your credit cards, it can affect your credit score – you may pay off the card, but it may still report with a balance. Better to not use them if possible and save money for your down payment!
Fourth – Inventory may be limited. Right now all I hear is there isn’t much on the market – so buyers are fighting for the homes that are there. We will probably see bidding wars again and there always seems to be someone that is willing to drive that price up a bit more! Be cautious so you don’t find yourself paying more for a home than you truly want to. Remember that your home will still need to appraise for the sales price. You may also find more fixer-uppers – maybe the home really needs work or maybe it just needs some updating. If you have the ability to fix up a home, it may help you find something easier.
Fifth – Expect that your mortgage rates will still be good – we do expect them to go up a bit but they are still much lower than they were years ago! Check with your lender, make sure you are ready to buy! Some of my clients are trying to buy before selling to make it easier for their move. It can help to find a home and then sell – maybe even close first if you can. Then you have time to move everything and get your home ready to sell.
Be prepared, talk to your realtor and loan officer and have fun shopping!! It looks like the spring market may come early this year, so if you are ready to buy, you may be able to find a home and move soon! The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to get that new home you love!