A New Home for the New Year
Ahh, January, the time we resolve to work on our priorities for the upcoming year! Is it the gym, the diet, spending less or saving more? Is it making time more time for the people and things that matter the most? Yes, every January is the time for new beginnings.
If you are thinking that 2019 might be the year for you to move to a new home, upgrade to a larger home or downsize to a smaller home, there are some things that will require your immediate attention.
Getting your “financial house” in order needs to be number one on your list. Speak to a local lender about their requirements that would enable you to make preparations. Having your credit history run will help tell your financial story. There may be credit issues that need to be cleaned up before you can purchase or possibly, you simply don’t have enough of a credit history. Both are issues that could take time to correct before you can purchase.
You will also need to start putting together your tax returns (or extensions), pay stubs from your employer(s) and documentation regarding alimony or child support. Lenders will need these items to start your file.
Credit card debt and student loans also play a part of your financial future. Refrain from opening new accounts while you are considering a buying a home (It’s tempting at the check out to save 20% if you open an account today, but don’t do it!) and especially wait on major purchases such as appliances or vehicles.
Having these done ahead of time will save a great deal of time and a letter of loan prequalification could move your offer to the number one position!
Lists, lists and more lists, make a list of the most important features your new home should have. If you are buying with a partner, carefully think about the space that you currently have and what kind of space will be best for your future. Make a list of areas that are the most appealing to you; are they close to your jobs, schools or child care? Does a new location simplify your life; drive to and from locations to your job at different times of day to see if that is the best location for you.
Other considerations are new construction vs. pre-owned homes, are you handy, will you have money for updates and repairs in the future? Deed restrictions vs. non-deed restricted neighborhoods, important to know before your begin your quest. You will also need to consider how Home Owner Association fees, Community Development fees, Flood insurance and homeowners insurance will impact your monthly payments.
Finally, find yourself a Great Realtor! Find someone that is responsive to YOU and will be there for you every step of the way. Find an agent that KNOWS the market, market trends and neighborhood pricing. A great Realtor can make your 2019 the best year of your life and your New Year resolution come true!
Happy New Year!