Spring means the return of more than just the sun and the flowers-it’s also the high season for the real estate market. It’s a great season to buy a home, since the weather is good for moving and for home improvement projects. However, since spring is the busiest time to purchase a new home, that means that there is a great deal of competition among prospective home buyers. It’s important to be prepared for purchase before you begin your search for a new home. Below are a few tips to get ready for the buying process. Happy buying!
- Set your budget. Your first step should be to decide how much you can afford to spend on a new home. Besides your asking price, also take closing costs, montly mortgage payments, a down payment, moving and other expenses into consideration. The Mortgage Bankers Association recommends that buyers spend no more than 2.5 times their income on a home. Total housing payments should not exceed 28 percent of your gross income, and total debt payments should be less than 36 percent.
- Make a list of must-haves. What does your new home absolutely need to have? What features are negotiable and what are not? Research these now to save time when you’re searching.
- Find a good real estate agent. A real estate agent can often give you valuable information that may not be available to you otherwise and help you find a home with all of your requirements within your budget. Ask friends and family for recommendations, or check online.
- Get your mortgage pre-approved. Discuss your options for a mortgage with several lenders and choose the rate and terms that are right for you. This way you’ll be able to act quickly once you find a home that you love.
Keep these tips and mind and when spring hits you’ll be ready to find your new home!