Buying a Home in 2019
With the new year upon us, now is a great time to begin assessing your goals and get the year started right. If buying a home is in your plans for 2019 here are a few things we wanted to share with to make your goal a reality.
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or have purchased many homes in the past our tips will help you be best prepared for your 2019 home buying journey.
Check Your Credit
Get your credit checked! Credit scores are a key factor for lenders and banks to determine your interest rate. Additionally, lenders use your credit report to determine things such as debt-to-income and creditworthiness. Keeping your score above 620 is critical. Although there are many lenders that have programs available for buyers with credit challenges, these lenders charge significantly higher rates. Optimally, it is best to keep your scores above 700 to get the best possible rates and minimize costs. Should you find yourself in the position where your credit score is on the low end, consider improving your score before making a purchase. Talk to a credit expert and come up with a game plan.
Avoid Large Purchases
Never make a large purchase before buying a house. Large purchases like a car, boat or any other item that requires a hefty cash withdrawal or credit line affect your ability to retain a loan from a bank. Banks typically view these type of purchases as red flags. If your lease is due in 2019, plan accordingly. A new credit line on your credit will almost always lower your credit score during the first few months its open. A lower score changes the rate you qualify for and costs you more money in the long term.
Not being pre-approved for a mortgage is one of the most common mistakes we see home buyers make. Before you begin looking at homes with your agent or online it's important you get pre-approved for a mortgage first. Your pre-approval will let you know how much house you can afford, which in turn will let you and your agent begin searching the right neighborhoods. A home search without a pre-approval is like sailing without a compass or charts; you’ll simply be lost
Determine What You’re Looking For
There is a fine line between what you need in a home versus what you want. The things we need are non-negotiable items. For example, a need would be three bedrooms or two bathrooms. A want is typically items like a pool, a garage or near a park, however, these can also be needs depending on your particular situation. That being said, sit down and make clear to yourself what are the most important items on your list. This will help make clear the type of home and neighborhood you are most likely to find what you’re looking for.
Find a Local Agent
Not all agents are created equal. Finding the right agent to work alongside you and represent your interests can be one of the best decisions you can make as a buyer. Moreover, a realtor will represent you and help you negotiate the best possible price and terms. They will also guide you to the right area/neighborhood based on your wants and needs. Additionally, a local agent can help you find homes for sale that may not be listed on the MLS or appear on sites like Zillow, Trulia, etc. “Off-market” or “coming soon” listings are a new way of marketing homes before they are listings on the MLS. At Compass, we have one of the best “coming soon” marketing campaigns and know about hundreds of homes for sale before they go not the market. This is the unique advantage of working with the right realtor provides a buyer in 2019.
To make homeownership a reality in 2019 will take some work and planning. If you follow the above steps you’ll be well on your way towards accomplishing your goal.
If you would like more information about buying a home in 2019, please contact us here to schedule an appointment.