Aspiring home buyers struggled through one of the priciest years to enter the market in 2023. With all the predictions about what the market may or may not look like as the year goes on, sometimes waiting it out isn’t an option.
Ready to buy and don’t know where to start? Here are some things to consider…
The first thing is you want to do is make sure that you’re in a solid financial position to enter the market. Because the market is so unpredictable, it’s crucial for prospective home buyers to take the time to know their budget and then find a home that’s well within that budget. Your local real estate broker will help guide you through these steps; establish a relationship with a licensed broker to make sure you are on the right path.
Utilize a mortgage calculator to estimate how much your monthly costs will be based on the down payment you’re able to put down. There’s plenty of online resources you can use to determine this number. Make sure to take taxes, home insurance and any association dues into consideration.
Have all of this information ready before you begin your search. Look at your credit score and if there’s any room for improvement, shop multiple lenders and have all necessary financial documents in hand. Some lenders will assist you in determining how to improve your credit score with specific recommendations.
If where you’re currently living is seeing a surge in home prices, consider relocating if possible or looking at alternative housing options such as a duplex, townhouse or a condominium if a single family home is not within the budget. Since the pandemic a lot of individuals have transitioned to working remote full-time. Without the obligation to commute, this substantially opens up your options as a more flexible Buyer.
Working with a local Realtor® will help you stay on top of what the housing options are and homes currently on the market. You want to continually be checking up on listings and pricing to put yourself ahead of the competition; consider forming a relationship with your local expert so you receive updates and insight into upcoming listings.
Once you have an idea of pricing and what you’re looking for in a home, you’ll need to start thinking about lender fees/shopping for a lender, inspections, title commitments, and the need for a survey.
You should first begin by asking your Realtor® for any recommendations they have of lenders that are highly regarded in your area.
Don’t just apply to one lender and jump at the rate they offer. Applying to multiple lenders allows you to see exactly what your options are and what deals they’re willing to give to beat out their competition. Look into all the rates and fees that come with each lender.
Regardless of if the previous homeowner provides you with an inspection report, you should always seek out hiring one yourself. Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to the many details of a home.
As beautiful and put together as a home may look, there could be a variety of issues lying beneath the surface. You’ll need a professional who can test and look for any hidden issues that may be currently causing problems or could in the future.
Experts advise you hire at least one professional to go through the entire home looking for issues with the building’s structure, roof, any plumbing or electrical problems, heating and cooling system and major appliances. Radon testing, well flow and water quality, as well as septic /sewer line inspections are a few additional items that need specific attention depending on the property. You’ll also want a good look at all the surfaces in the home from the flooring to the paint, windows and doors. A professional will be able to identify any pest infections, other damages or potential issues based on their experience and knowledge of the area.
Having title insurance is important because it not only protects you from past events, but also ensures a smooth transition from the seller to the buyer. There’s a variety of options when it comes to choosing your title insurance provider as well as who pays for title insurance.
Speak with a local Realtor® to learn about the different companies available in your area and the pros and cons of each as well as the benefit to the Buyer to pay for the title insurance. The Buyer receives the final policy after closing so make sure you are receiving the policy that works for you.
To prevent any last minute stress and to be sure you are getting the insurance coverage you need, shopping for a homeowners insurance policy ahead of time is a smart step. Checking with your existing insurance agent as well as shopping both local and on-line insurance companies will put you in a terrific position when you need the coverage to be effective at closing.
Need for a survey:
A property survey will legally define the boundaries of your property.
When purchasing a new home or vacant land, a property survey may be required by your mortgage lender or title company. Either way, it’s a good idea to have a property survey done. It is extremely important if you’re looking to make any home renovations, additions or are looking to install a new fence on your property. There is also additional coverage from the title company offered if you have a survey product.
If you’re looking to buy now or have any other real estate related questions, the key to being a strong buyer is by being prepared; call Julie Kersting at (719) 395 – 7840 or email Julie@FirstColorado.com.
Julie Kersting is part of the Chaffee County Times Preferred Business Sponsor program.
Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.