Wow, 2023 is already here. The last few years have been a wild ride! For many, 2020 catapulted us into a new way of thinking. It forced us to grow and change and face obstacles head-on. Some of us are still recovering from the impact! In the real estate world, we have learned one thing…This shift led many to realize the benefits of homeownership. When the whole world was unstable, people found stability at home. More than ever, consumers are laser focused on real estate – whether it is to own or invest. If this resonates with you, we want to help you achieve your goal! Going into the New Year, here are a few goals you can set for yourself to help you prepare for buying a home. 

 

Evaluate your Finances

It’s time to take a hard look at where you are financially and be honest with yourself/your partner. What areas are you spending too much money? Or rather, what areas are you able to save?  Can you cut out monthly subscriptions, eating out or shopping? If you have the time and need the extra boost, there are plenty of side hustles you can look into for extra streams of income. Saving does not have to be impossible, create a common goal with your partner and work together to achieve it.

 

Establish a Budget

From here, it will be a lot easier to determine a solid budget. How much can you realistically afford on a monthly mortgage payment after cutting out the extra unnecessary expenses/adding a side hustle? Keep in mind, this number may not look the same as what you get pre-approved for, but this allows you to visualize and prepare for a future payment. Creating a budget helps you set a hardline of what you can afford comfortably, that way when the time comes to look for a home, you have a precedent.

 

Get Pre-Approved

If you plan to take out a mortgage, getting pre-approved by a trusted lender is a MUST before you begin your home search. This not only sets the perimeter of what the bank will allow you to borrow, but is also a necessary step of preparedness when beginning your search. This speeds up the process, and gives you leverage when submitting an offer on a home. 

 

Find a Real Estate Agent that You Trust

There is a saying that “there is an agent for everyone.” It is vitally important that you find an agent that you trust and that you know is TRULY working for YOU. This is where the magic happens. For many agents, real estate is their full time job. They are immersed in the industry every day. They are experts on the area, know tricks of the trade and know what questions to ask and what to look for to ensure you get the best deal possible. Having a great agent on your team is one of the best things you can do for your home buying experience. Going at it alone may result in costly consequences in the long run.

 

Hold Off on the Spending!

Every single person in the industry will preach this, do not make large purchases, open or close credit cards, change jobs, etc. All of these have a major impact on your credit, affordability and ability to be approved when it comes to a mortgage. We know it can be tempting to get a head start on buying furniture, opening credit cards for emergency funds, etc. Just wait!  ANY change in finances can result in denial of a mortgage loan. Have a plan, but don’t jump the gun.

 

Be Ready to Move

You never know when the right house will come along. It could take days, it could take months. It’s important to be on your toes and ready to make a move.This is a great time to declutter, organize, clean, and pack up your space – at least the parts of it that are not in use every day. Why not get a head start on the most stressful part of moving? A declutter never hurt anyone anyway! **A little bonus - Sell some of your belongings for some extra cash on hand! You’ll be glad you did. 

 

We could talk all day about some beneficial strategies to prepare for home buying. There are a variety of books, podcasts, online educational platforms and so on that we would love to direct you to. However, these few tips are the baseline. Incorporating them into your New Year’s Resolutions will have you one step closer to your homeownership goals. Will 2023 be the year!? As always, connect with us if you have any questions or would like to talk further about your real estate goals. We are here to help.



**Real Estate Agents are not trained or licensed to provide legal or financial advice. Always be sure to reach out to a lawyer or lending professional for information specific to finances, mortgages or legal concerns. Please call us or email us if you need recommendations for a lending professional or lawyer in your area.

 

 

Author: Haley Elder, Marketing Manager

 

Salt + Stone Property Group