Category Archives: new year’s resolution

5 New Year’s Resolutions That’ll Help You Buy a Home

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small house on hand buying a homeIs your New Year’s resolution to buy a home next year? A condo, townhouse, or single family house that you can call home sweet home? If so, you may want to add a few more resolutions to your list—real estate resolutions that can make your home buying process smoother and less stressful. Even though the first step of the home search that comes to mind is contacting a realtor, your first resolution should be in motion well before you look for homes with your real estate agent.

I will prepare financially to buy a house.

There’s more to buying a house than saving money.   Obviously, saving up a good down payment is not going to hurt, but your lender is going to base your pre-approval on more than just your savings account balance. Lenders also look at factors such as financial history, employment, current and past debts, and credit score. If your credit score is low, you may not get approved or not be able to take advantage of the lowest mortgage rate. Once you know your finances are in order for buying a house, start compiling documents your lender needs: past tax returns, W-2s, bank statements, pay stubs, and any other paperwork specific to your financial situation.

I will find out my budget first.

dollar sign to get ready for buying a homeBefore you contact a realtor, before you start looking at houses, before you making a list of must haves for your new home, contact a lender to find out the amount of money you are approved to borrow. You can find a reputable lender by asking your realtor, family, and friends for suggestions, or research your options online (carefully). Once you have a list of potential lenders, vet your mortgage lenders by asking them these questions to determine what lender is right for you.

I will select the best realtor in my area.

You rely a lot on your realtor throughout the home buying process, so why wouldn’t you take the time to find a quality realtor? Look for a realtor who knows your area, has the experience and expertise you need, and comes highly recommended by past clients. You can read more about selecting the right real estate agent in our recent blog post.

I will know what I want.

Make a list of ‘must haves’ for your new property. Do you want a big backyard? Where do you want to live? Once you have a list, know that there is a high probability that items on your list may change, or take a higher priority over another item, as you search for homes. It’s okay to change as you learn what you want—and don’t want—in your future home.

To make sure you don’t get overwhelmed, factor in your limitations as you search for a home. If you haven’t picked up a hammer recently—or ever—perhaps a fixer upper is not the property for you. If you still want to put your personal touch on a home, look for a property that has small projects you can manage or a property that can be bought and remodeled within your budget (if you can get a loan or have funds to do so).

I will get a home inspection.

Your home purchase is most likely the biggest purchase of your life, so make sure your new home is sound. Hire a home inspector to do a thorough inspection of your purchase and look for red flags that could signal the home is a money pit. If you do find a problem with the home, don’t panic. Talk to your realtor about negotiating with the home owner on the price, or to have the present owner fix the problem. This is one New Year’s decision that can keep you from repeatedly investing in a money pit.