We're sure you'll agree that it's so surprising that we're already three days into November. This year just seems to be gathering speed towards its exit in, wait for it, just 58 days time...
Therefore we're already rapidly approaching the stage where plans and goals for next year will gradually start to come into sharper focus.
If you're not currently a home owner, then we certainly hope that you'll be aiming to become a first time buyer in the New Year, if not even sooner.
It's absolutely true to say that it's never too early to start planning to buy a home, but this especially applies if you're new to the process.
We thought it would be a good idea today to give you some pointers of things to consider and act upon now, in order that you can execute your purchasing plan more effectively when the time comes:
Get your finances in order - You'll almost certainly be looking for a mortgage so, even if you aren't planning to move for some time, it makes complete sense, in fact it's essential, to make sure your credit rating is as good as it can be. Reducing your borrowings is important and now probably isn't a good time to be taking on new debt, such as a car loan or loading your credit cards during the holidays. Debt to income ratio is a critical measure used by lenders, so you need to waste no time in taking steps to ensure that equation is very much in your favor and to not make it any worse. Even if you haven't started to look at properties yet, it's never too early to meet a mortgage professional to develop a strategy that will ensure you're in the best possible shape when the time comes to make that offer on the home you've set your heart on. This includes being pre-approved for a certain level of home loan, according to your circumstances. That's so useful in terms of helping you define what's affordable in your own case. It also means sellers will take your offer much more seriously if you can show evidence that you actually have the means to buy their property.
Know the market - Just as you can't look at your finances soon enough, knowledge is power when it comes to developing a good understanding of the dynamics of the current market for homes. This is a multi-faceted process, although quite simple to execute, including developing your knowledge of pricing trends, what locations and types of property offer the best value and also keeping an eye on what's happening with mortgage rates. They've been very low for some time, but there's no guarantee as to how long that will last, so the closer you are to the trends, the more well informed you'll be in terms of what time is best to buy in your own situation. Might we also humbly suggest that you follow blogs such as this on a regular basis as we do try to provide a great deal of useful info for buyers, as well as monthly and quarterly reviews of Albuquerque area real estate market statistics.
Define your needs - It's great that you've identified next year as the time when you'll finally get on the home ownership ladder, but have you absolutely defined your wish list for everything you'll need from the property? Again, this is something you can't start too soon, because there's nothing worse than beginning to look at homes without having really done your homework in terms of precisely what you're looking for. This usually starts with simply writing down exactly what you'd like to find in the home of your dreams. Admittedly the reality of what you can actually afford often means that compromises will eventually be necessary, but knowing what you want is a great starting point. It also helps your agent to more clearly define homes that will be of interest.
Be flexible - Yes, we've just said that you should write down a wants list for your home. But it's also good advice to suggest that you don't set your heart on a single specific property or location. With the current shortage of available homes for sale, there's a lot of competition among buyers across most market sectors (another good reason for early planning). It therefore pays dividends to settle on a more general specification that's within your budget. Hopefully you'll find exactly the home you want, but some degree of compromise will make your search more effective and less stressful in the long run.
Team up with a great buyer's agent asap - Your immediate plans should also include linking up with a great buyer's agent, even if you don't intend to start viewing properties for some time. Professional agents will be able to offer you great advice and put you in touch with other contacts that can help you at an early stage, including loan officers. Building an early relationship with an agent will enable you to access a lot of help as you gradually define your needs and will enable you to hit the ground running once your search starts getting really serious.
Needless to say, we'd welcome a conversation about your home buying plans for 2018 right now, so we can ensure you're armed with great advice and help throughout your process, thanks to our huge experience in assisting first time buyers in reaching their goals. Please don't hesitate to contact us today.