Are you getting serious about buying a home? Take the time now to do these three things before signing the dotted line and heading to your closing!
Pre-Approval: Do the Math!
It’s important to start off your home search by reminding yourself to not get emotionally invested. It’s so easy to hop online and fall in love immediately with a handful of houses on the market that have all the bells and whistles. The smart approach, however, is to start by getting pre-approved first. A lender can guide you through the pre-approval process by taking an in-depth look at your credit report and ability to purchase a home. Pre-approval helps you understand what you can afford, so you can focus your house-hunting only on the homes within that range.
House-Hunting: Begin the Search!
Finally, the fun part! Now you get to start browsing home listings. Feel free to start obsessively checking online house-hunting sites like Realtor.com, Zillow or Trulia to discover listings in your price range. Now is also a good time to look at homes in your preferred neighborhoods, and review statistics and reports on home values. Use this time to dream about some of your must-have home features, and start putting together your list of priorities.
House Viewings: Dive In!
Knowing your price range and home features will assist your realtor in helping you narrow the field down to a list of houses to view. It’s important to attend a lot of open houses and make appointments to see as many homes as possible. Sometimes it’s necessary to shop around to get a firm handle on what you like and dislike on top of what is available in the current market. Don’t think of it as a waste of time if it takes a while for the right house to appear. Instead, consider it time well spent honing on your house-hunting skills.