Traditionally, spring has been the time that many buyers and sellers become motivated to enter the real estate market. The warm weather and longer days encourage potential buyers to get out and look for a home that fits their needs and budget. Similarly, sellers can take advantage of the seasonal flowers and favorable weather to boost the curb appeal of their homes. If you’re in the market for a new home or are thinking of putting your home on the market, here are some tips to help you get ready.
1. Get your credit in shape
If you plan to finance your home purchase, check your credit history, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. That way, you can correct any errors, and take measures to boost your credit score. Order one free credit report a year from AnnualCreditReport.com
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Early in your search, meet with a mortgage lender who will take a look at your credit history, your savings and investment statements and your current financial situation, and give you a better picture of what you can afford and the financing options available.
3. Establish Your Budget
Whether you’re financing your purchase or paying cash, it helps to establish a budget. This will help you focus your search on great homes within your price range.
4. Make a List
Buying a home is a process of elimination, not a process of selection. Make a list of your ideal home’s must haves and deal breakers. This will help you to narrow your search so that you can find a home that fits your current and future needs.
5. Think About Resale Value
The average homeowner lives in their home for nine years.* While you may purchase your home as a long-term investment, keep in mind that you may need to sell it one day. Consider the homes resale value when you’re looking at properties.
Statistic: 95% of first-time homebuyers and 86% of repeat buyers financed their home purchase*
* Source: NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2013