Yahoo! Homes recently published an article highlighting the reasons why winter is a great time to buy a home. If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, there are a few things to consider before making the jump and becoming a serious prospective buyer.
1. Can you afford to buy? While there are some great low and no-money-down loan programs available right now, it’s important to do the math and figure out if you can actually make any payments on a home. Calculate the amount of money you have to spend on a mortgage payment after you’ve handled all of your other expenses. If you can’t afford to make a monthly mortgage payment, consider renting for a while and saving up enough to either put more of a deposit down or enough to be able to make that monthly amount.
2. Will you be in the area for a while? If you’re going to be in the area for a couple of years, then buying is an excellent want to build equity. If you’re anticipating a move within the year, then it’s probably not a good idea to purchase a home.
3. Have you met with a lender to get pre-approved? Getting a pre-approval letter shows that you’re a serious buyer to sellers, and it will also let you know exactly how much you can afford to spend on a house.
4. Do you have a real estate agent? It can be tempting to try to go through the home buying process without an agent, but you run the risk of missing out on homes, paying too much for a home, or running into issues that you don’t understand. Real estate agents are professional home buyers and sellers. We can efficiently negotiate contracts, do what we can to keep closings on schedule, and handle any problems that arise.
Don’t rush out to buy a home just because the market is good. Take the time to research, prepare, and make sure that you’re ready for such a big investment. If you are truly ready to buy, then best of luck finding your dream home!