With the new year quickly approaching it’s time to start thinking about the future! A year can bring a lot of surprises, both good and bad, to the way we buy homes. Hans Brings, a Realtor from Waltham, Massachusetts, offers a few tips and tricks to make sure you kick off the new year the best way possible, and get the home you want!
December is the time to start planning! Get yourself primed and ready for the new year by checking off a few necessary to-do’s.
Suggest monetary gifts for the coming holidays
Buying a house will of course cost a lot of money. Keep in mind there are a few fees that that not be as obvious as the price tag shows. There’s the down payment, as well as any incurred costs involved with physically moving!
Check your credit score
Credit scores are one of the most important tools when it comes to buying a home, so checking early can help ensure a safe transition in the buying process. Scores range from 300 to 850, and the higher the score the better! Higher credit scores mean that your rates will be lower.
Considering potential agents
While there are many real estate agents out there, not all of them are Realtors. A Realtor® is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of Realtors®. Realtors® are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics. You also want a Realtor who is intimately familiar with the area in which you want to buy. The details of the local community are an important part of any home buying decision. By making sure you choose a Realtor who lives and works in Waltham and knows about local schools, events, politics, etc., you know that you can trust them to provide the most comprehensive picture to help you make the best buying decision.
Always be checking interest rates
Don’t forget that the market’s rates aren’t entirely the same as yours will be. Everyone has rates that may fluctuate based on many factors, one being your credit score! Though it’s hard to predict the future, but keeping tabs on the trends of rates can help you make more well-informed decisions that will save you time and money.
Find a lender
Go to a mortgage lender before getting to deep into the home buying process to make sure you’ll be able to buy the home! The question then arises, where can you find a good lender? If you’ve been with a bank for a long time, ask them! If not, your realtor should be able to offer some potential lenders. After researching lenders, and before choosing, find out important information like their rates and how long to close.
Get approved early
After completing the above steps, talk to your lender about getting preapproved for a loan. Doing this can speed up the home buying process and will demonstrate to home sellers that you can really afford to buy.