With home prices on the rise and mortgage rates still relatively low, now is the ideal time to buy a home. But in this type of market, competing offers can shut you out of the home of your dreams if you’re not prepared.
Beat the competition this home buying season with these 3 tips, courtesy of NeighborWorks America, a national nonprofit corporation.
1. Seek professional guidance. More than two-thirds of homebuyers in a recent NeighborWorks survey said that the home buying process is complicated. The best way to get a thorough understanding of the process is to consult with a real estate professional. If you find your finances are lacking, you may also want to meet with a housing counselor, who can offer additional support.
“The housing market is tough right now, with fewer homes for sale on the market than usual, and new mortgage rules and many mortgage products from which to choose,” says Marietta Rodriguez, spokesperson for NeighborWorks America. “To be in the strongest position to make an offer that is accepted, consumers have to be prepared. That’s where initial consultation with a housing counselor is a great first-step.”
2. Build a budget. National surveys have shown that less than one-third of consumers have a budget. Go into this home buying season with a budget that includes potential changes in commuting costs after purchase, home maintenance expenses, and even estimates for changes in life circumstances (such as becoming a parent or paying for college) to have a leg-up on the competition.
“Once all the numbers are on the table, it’s easier to see what type of home suits a family’s budget and needs, what might be necessary financial trade-offs, and what could be a direct line to trouble,” says Rodriguez.
3. Remain informed. The supply of homes on the market will be tight this season. Getting into a bidding war could weaken your resolve, and could push you beyond your means financially. In these circumstances, don’t be tempted to forgo important steps in the process, like the home inspection.
“Forgoing a home inspection to move up a place in the bidding process could be costly down the road if problems and defects with the home arise,” says Rodriguez.” NeighborWorks recommends that homebuyers have a home inspection, and know as much as possible about the inside of a home as the outside.”
Follow these three tips to ensure you stay ahead of the competition, and remember: contact a real estate professional. He or she can help you see you through from pre-approval to close.
Source: NeighborWorks America
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