Whether you are a first-time buyer, moving up the ladder, downsizing or investing, making a decision to buy a home can be daunting. We asked our agents for their top tips to prepare to enter today's house-buying market.
Get Your Financing in Order – talk to a mortgage broker to find out what you can afford – you may find better deals than the headline interest rates, depending on your down payment (the amount of money you can put down) and your credit rating. Once you have been pre-approved, don’t make any major changes to your financial status (e.g. take out a new car loan, change job) without talking to your broker first.
Target Your Neighborhoods – you may have to consider more than one town or area in order to find the home you want in your price range. Tour a few different places to get a feel for each one and an idea of the housing stock in each area. If travel to work is a consideration, look at different commuting routes and travel those routes during the commuting hours to see what it would actually be like – you might be pleasantly surprised! Speak to your realtor to get more detailed information on the different communities and what they offer for your needs.
Figure Out Needs vs Wants - with limited inventory there will inevitably be some compromises in your home search, so try to figure out a clear list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”. For example, a garage would be nice but off-street parking is a must. Four bedrooms would be ideal, but a 3 bedroom property with space for a desk / home office would work. Figuring out your priorities before you start your search makes it easier to compare your options and not make any rash decisions.
Be Patient! – unless you have a specific deadline, such as a job move, it makes sense to start your search as early as possible to give yourself time to find the right place. Fall is a great time to start looking – after spring, it’s the most popular time to move home – but you might still find you need to tour several homes over the course of weeks (or months) to find the right one. This is also where your needs vs wants come into play – if you need to move quickly, you will have to revise your list of “needs” to fit what’s on the market. Got some time? Then you can afford to be more choosy.
Find an Agent – everything about the homebuying process is easier with an experienced professional by your side. Whether this is your first time buying a home, or your first time in several years, you can rest assured your agent knows the process inside and out and can guide you through every step. Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty agents have a wealth of knowledge and experience to call on, both from themselves and their 150+ colleagues. Read some of our testimonials from happy clients and you’ll see how a buyer’s agent can make a difference.
Contact us today if you have questions about the home-buying process!