As the spring housing market heats up, you may have to act fast to get the home you want. But that doesn’t mean you should skip crucial home buying steps. Have a plan and stick to it to find the home you want.
- Be prepared. Choose a lender, share your financial information, and decide the down payment amount. The lender will come back with the highest amount you can borrow and your interest rate. Don’t fool yourself with a risky loan; get the safest loan for the longest term you can afford.
- Shop within your means. By fixing the financial variables, you also fix your price range. While you may be tempted to look at fancier homes to see what they have, but that will only make you less happy with the homes in your range.
- Don’t skip inspections. Sellers expect you to examine the home. You not only need to know what the home costs, but what it’s likely to cost soon for repairs, replacements and remodeling.
- Think long term. To recover closing and moving costs, you will likely need to occupy the home you buy for five years or longer. Choose the home that is most likely to meet your household’s needs for the longest foreseeable future.
- Add value. By adding on or making other improvements, you’re bringing the home up to the area’s best standards, which will help it hold and increase its value and appeal strongly to the next buyer.