The new year is a great time to make changes and improvements to our lives; some will stick, and inevitably, some will not. But this year, rather than set lofty goals that we both know are unrealistic, we’ve got a few actionable items that you can do to bring yourself closer to owning a home, or potentially even a second home. Home ownership doesn’t always have to feel like it’s a year away; this year could very well be your year.
Figure Out What You Don’t Want
When searching for a home (for rent or for purchase), it is very easy to get weighed down by the sheer number of options on the market. To live downtown, or to live in the suburbs? Colonial, ranch, modern, or custom? Do we really need a fifth bedroom? These are all important choices to make, but instead of trying to hit the bullseye right from the jump, it might be easier to start with the things you definitely don’t want. Need a yard? Don’t want a rehab project? Need private parking? It’s much easier to narrow down your options by first eliminating possibilities that aren’t compatible with your needs.
Study The Market
As you drive around your prospective new area, take note of the signs you see. Are there many houses for sale? Are the houses you saw on your last trip here still on the market? When considering a move, it’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with the area as well as the local housing market. Of course, it’s always smart to equip yourself with the services of an experienced buyer agent (Copper Hill has amazing buyer agents ... just sayin'), but having your own baseline knowledge of the industry and the local specifics adds a layer of confidence to your own ability to see the process through.
Prepare Yourself For A Loan
Unless you’re planning to empty out the mattress and buy your next home in cold hard cash, you’re probably going to need a loan (aka mortgage). It’s never too early to start shopping around, but even before that, you’re going to need to make sure you’re ready to take on the debt. If you do nothing else, start clearing up existing debt, save as much of your paycheck as you can, and avoid making any other significant purchases (like a car) in the months leading up to when you’re planning to apply for a loan. And when you’re ready, don’t hesitate to ask your buyer agent for a mortgage referral.
See Everything In-Person
While the COVID shadow may still loom over us, gone are the days where it was impossible to see a house with your own eyes. Open houses are back in action, and your buyer agent has the ability to show you almost any property on the market that you may wish to see. Take advantage of this! Go out and view the properties in person, feel what it’s like to be in the space, and truly take inventory of your surroundings before seriously committing to any purchase.
If you think buying and selling real estate has to be difficult, think again. The Copper Hill team can help bring your dreams to life and help you find the home you’ve been looking for!