We naturally hope that you are a regular reader of our blog.
Depending on when you started reading it, and how often you read it of course, you might have missed some great nuggets of useful information along the way.
So we thought what could be better than to go back through the archives and find some really great pieces of advice that some of you may not have seen.
Starting today with buyers, here are our greatest tips for you:
Work on your credit score right now - A low credit score means you're very unlikely to get a home loan. The better your score, however, the more likely it is that you will qualify for the very best rates. You therefore really need to focus on doing everything you can to improve your score. This means reducing what you owe on credit cards and paying off other debts that help formulate your score. Your debt to income ratio is going to be an essential focal point for lenders.
Get pre-approved - Without question one of, if not the, most important bits of advice we can offer you. If you are pre-approved for the home loan you need, sellers will have confidence in you and will take you and any offer you make with the utmost seriousness. There's nothing worse for a seller than accepting an offer that falls through because the potential buyer couldn't obtain the necessary finance. It's often the case these days that multiple offers come in for homes - if you were competing for a home without pre-approval and your purchasing "rival" had everything sorted in advance, whose offer would you go with if you were the seller?
Select a great home loan professional - You're going to need the very best advice on home loans every step of the way. You can make a great start by clicking here to make a free mortgage application via our website.
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. While this method may work if you have infinite time on your hands, it is grossly time inefficient 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 fueling 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.
Be certain of what you can afford - Working out what home you can comfortably afford is, of course, the single most defining factor in setting out your goals. There really is no sense in viewing homes that are out of your reach. Equally, if you aren't sure of what you are capable of purchasing, maybe you are looking at properties beneath the standard of what you could own. As we've already indicated, it therefore makes huge sense to get pre-approved for a home loan even before you start to look in earnest.
Partner with a great buyer's agent - Buyer's agents are the first to know when homes arrive on the market via the multiple listing service (MLS) and through their close working relationships with other agents. This means that you'll be among those at the front of the line to get the earliest home viewings and, as a direct consequence, be able to make an early offer. This process often commences before the home is even marketed online, or anywhere else for that matter. The importance of being an early bird really can't be overstated at the present time, when inventory of available homes for sale is so low. And with choice so limited in many areas and home categories, having a buyer's agent working hard every day for you to identify properties that are best suited to your needs is really essential. Also remember that the services of a buyer's agent will cost you nothing. Agents earn their money from their share of the commission on the sale, paid for by the seller at closing time.
Thoughts on home condition - We all start our home search hoping to find somewhere that's in perfect condition and beautifully decorated and equipped with all the latest features. Here's where affordability can rear its head again, plus your willingness to accept something in less than an ideal state. If you have a pretty solid set of requirements for a certain size of home but your ability to afford it is marginal, a home in less than sparkling condition can be a great option, as this will be reflected in the asking price. OK, it might not be all you want it to be right now, but with some TLC in the months and years to come, plus your willingness to invest both time and money in improvements, it could even end up being better than you ever envisaged. All that being said, it is vital that you commission a home inspection to make sure that any imperfections aren't hiding serious underlying issues that make the home an unviable purchase.
What's the potential of a property? - Following on from our points on condition, you really should be looking at what the potential of the home is, not just from an aesthetic standpoint, but also as an investment. Is the home situated in a highly desirable area? Is it well located for access to many workplaces and leisure amenities? Would its value sky rocket with significant remodeling? Are home values in the area rising higher than the average home price? Are there any future developments in the area that could positively or adversely affect values? These, and other, important considerations should help you to decide if you are making a wise investment or heading for a large slice of buyer's remorse somewhere down the line.
Will the home be saleable in future? - If you envisage your next home as being your last, future saleability is probably not a major consideration. If, on the other hand, you are viewing your next purchase as a stepping stone to an ultimate goal, make sure there's nothing significant about the property that might be off putting to future buyers. Whereas you might not consider a home situated on a dirt road to be a problem, or even a bonus if you own, say, horses, that is probably not something everyone might want to entertain. Are there any noises near the home like traffic on a nearby freeway? Again it may be something you are happy to tolerate for a few years, but it will not be acceptable to everyone. Even a seemingly minor factor like poor internet speed can be enough to send buyers elsewhere.
Consider acting right now - We've regularly reported that the Albuquerque area real estate market is performing exceptionally well and there are many reasons for this, but probably none so important as the continuation of exceptionally low mortgage rates. Buyers are exceptionally keen to lock-in rock bottom rates,. 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.
Getting things started - No matter how experienced or inexperienced you may be at buying real estate, a professional realtor has tools and knowledge at his/her disposal that you simply cannot hope to have - day to day experience of the market place, top negotiating skills and the ability to deeply search the inventory of homes that match your means, needs and location requirements. At Everest Peak Realty we take personal pride in offering an unrivaled service to buyers. Contact us today and we'll sit down with you and forensically examine your needs and match them to the right homes for you to view. It's a streamlined and disciplined approach that gets results.