It's February already and doubtless many of you are now more seriously considering either buying a home for the first time, upgrading or even downsizing.
Wherever you stand in that equation, today we'd like to make five suggestions that will help you make the best decisions when it comes to defining your choice of where next to reside:
Research possible home locations - Knowing where you'd like to live is a great start to looking for a home. The internet is a huge, almost infinite resource in this regard and you can find out almost anything about an area, even down to important considerations like reported criminal activity. It also makes total sense to travel around and get a feel for the areas you are considering. Talk to the locals about what's good, and not so good, about the location. Once you've done this important groundwork and settled on some possible areas that you think you'd be happy to live in, move swiftly on to our next bit of advice...
Get laser beam focused on your actual needs - Some buyers tend to have a scattergun approach to choosing their homes, reasoning that the more homes they look at, the more their actual needs will be apparent. These are probably the same folks who love nothing better than to spend all day browsing in stores. While this method may work if you have infinite time on your hands, it is grossly time efficient if, like most people, you have a lot of other things to attend to in life. In fact there's evidence to suggest that the more homes people look at, the less likely they are to actually make a buying decision. Hence some pre-planning and a laser beam focus on your actual needs is heartily recommended. Your realtor will also be best positioned to assist you if you provide a comprehensive brief of your requirements to him/her. Indeed, with high buyer demand fuelling low inventory of available homes for sale in the Albuquerque area, there's even more reason to carefully think about your needs, as ideal choices may be limited.
Get pre-approved for a home loan - This is advice we'll never tire of giving. There's just no point in looking at homes you can't afford and, equally, if you don't know what you can afford you might even find yourself punching below your weight, as it were, and not maximize your purchasing potential. Crucially, sellers will treat you infinitely more seriously if you arrive for a viewing forearmed with pre-approval for a loan. Remember that pre-approval, a firm commitment from the lender based on your actual finances, has far more currency than merely being pre-qualified. Click here to read our entire blog on the subject for more enlightenment and here to begin a free mortgage application.
Consider acting right now - We've twice recently reported that the Albuquerque area real estate market is performing exceptionally well this winter, at a time when we would traditionally expect much lower levels of activity. Click here and here for more details. There are many reasons for this, but probably none so important as the continuation of exceptionally low mortgage rates. Indeed, just today, it's being reported that mortgage rates are very near a three year low, at around an average of 3.50% for a 30 year fixed-rate home loan. Unsurprisingly, buyers are exceptionally keen to lock-in these rock bottom rates, especially given expert predictions that they will rise during the year. While there are no guarantees that will be the case, it really makes no sense to wait if you are able and willing to make a purchase right now. The last thing you want is to be kicking yourself if rates do start to increase again, as they one day inevitably will do.
Partner with a top buyer's agent - This is as crucial as any of the other pieces of advice we're offering today. A high performing buyer's agent will know the market intimately well and have all the latest up to the minute listings of available homes at his/her fingertips, plus an exceptional track record of matching potential buyers' needs. He or she will also be able to assist you throughout negotiations, always achieving the best possible deal for you, plus providing you with every assistance with all aspects of closing the deal. You should put at least as much effort into finding the best realtor as any other aspect of home purchase - don't make the dangerous assumption that all agents are equal. A little research will soon prove to you how vast performance differentials can be.
We'd be delighted to guide you through all of the above steps. Why not call us today.