Summer time is the hottest housing market of the year, and this year’s is already as hot as it gets. Houses can sometimes only be on the market for a few days, and sellers don’t have to wait long to get multiple offers. In a market like this, you either come prepared or miss out. With these five tips, you can arrive to the market ready to buy and with the confidence of knowing you’re doing it right.
1. Pre-approval – Check! Make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row. The last thing you want is to find the perfect house, only to realize you haven’t done what you need to on the mortgage end. Find a mortgage professional you trust (do some online research, find out their fees, compare rates). It’s impossible to have too much information about your mortgage. Only after you’ve got that pre-approval, and know how much house is in your budget, should you move forward with scheduling tours.
2. Schedule it yesterday: Homes are being sold as quickly as they can be posted online, so you want to make sure that, when you find a house you’d like to see, schedule it with your Realtor right away. Waiting a day or two could be the difference between closing on your next home or seeing someone else’s moving truck in the driveway.
3. Be ready to make that offer: Since you already have your pre-approval letter from your lender, you are ready to work with your Realtor to make an offer. This is not a sit-and-wait market; if you like the house and it fits your needs, make that offer! While you first want to make sure it’s the right home for you, you should be ready to move when you do find it.
4. The “where” is key: Make sure you know your ideal locations early in the process. Take a few trips to drive around the neighborhoods you are considering. Have a couple of areas picked out that work for your budget, have the amenities and/or schools that work for you, and feel like home. If you put in the time to narrow down your neighborhood wish-list, you can schedule your house tours and visits more efficiently. Remember that neighborhoods can vary greatly in terms of taxes, which can sway that monthly budget or pre-approval amount greatly.
5. Prioritize your must-haves: Separate your needs from your wants. We all want to find our perfect dream home, but make sure the most important boxes are being checked first. A seven-bedroom house on a 10-acre plot may not be what you and your family need right now. What are the most important features you need to see? We all want the kitchens from our favorite remodeling shows, but make sure your budget, your needs, and your expectations are in line.
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House shopping can be exhilarating (and maybe a little bit stressful). Thankfully, you don’t have to tackle it all by yourself. Your friendly, neighborhood Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors are always available to help you navigate even the hottest of summer housing markets. Click over to their website, where you can connect with an expert Realtor who will work hard to find you the perfect home.