We're already at the halfway mark in January and, with the year now getting under full steam, many home buyers are preparing to enter the market.
Today we'd like to give you five important tips that will help you optimize your purchase:
Don't procrastinate - Right now market conditions are pretty much as good as anyone could hope for them to be. The economy continues to do well, house price inflation is well under control and asking prices are still very realistic and, as we've seen yet again this week, mortgage interest rates are staying below a 4% average for a 30 year loan and tending to progressively fall as world stock markets struggle and interest in bonds increases. It therefore doesn't make a lot of sense to play a waiting game, in terms of how good the market could get, because it rarely, if ever, gets much better than right now!
Get pre-approved for a home loan asap - There are at least two really good reasons why it pays to get pre-approved for a mortgage right now. The first is that sellers will take your offer far more seriously if you're able to confirm to them that you can in fact afford their home, improving your buying, and negotiating, power. Secondly, leading on from our first buying tip, with mortgage rates still at rock bottom, you'd do well to get approval and lock in a low rate while you still can. Click here to get the approval process started.
Get your own house in order - Part One - If you're looking to buy in the coming months, you absolutely need to make sure that your finances are in as good a shape as it's possible for them to be. The more money you have saved, the larger the down payment you can afford, so this isn't a time for extravagant vanity purchases. At all costs avoid the temptation to take out a car loan, or similar, as this will not do your credit rating any favors at all. Remember that, today, more than ever, income-to-debt ratio is a critical measure for lenders. Paying off credit cards and cutting down on monthly discretionary expenditure will pay big dividends and could help you buy a better home or, in the most basic scenario, help you to actually qualify for a home loan in the first place. Changing jobs just before you apply for a mortgage isn't a good thing to do either. Also never lose sight of the fact that you need to have sufficient funds set aside for closing costs too.
Get your own house in order - Part Two - If you already own a home, have you listed it yet? One of the key encumbrances to moving upscale, or even downsizing, is if you haven't sold your existing property by the time you're looking to make an offer on your next residence. What's even better is that if you have a firm offer for your home, you're in a much more advantageous position in terms of knowing exactly what you can afford. We're seeing more and more multiple offers above asking price these days so, if you're in that happy position, you might be well placed to put a very substantial down payment on a better home than you envisaged. Trying to simultaneously manage the entire selling and buying process can lead to many disappointments and no small increase in stress levels.
Hire a realtor now! - Even if your planned move isn't right away, there isn't a home buyer in New Mexico who ever hired a realtor too early! Make sure that your selection process takes into account the agent's track record in supporting buyers, including testimonials from satisfied clients. Make the right choice and you've got someone to hold your hand through the entire buying cycle, right from defining your specific needs and preferences in your next home and effective negotiating with the seller to making the closing process go as smoothly as possible.
We hope these simple tips help you to get in shape for your 2016 home search. Call us today for more specific advice related to your own circumstances.