The new year is a time for reflection and for setting resolutions. Most first-time buyers strive to improve their lives in some way, and one of the most popular resolutions is buying a home.
If this is your goal for 2022, don’t worry— you can still make it happen! This article will provide you with the best tips for achieving your resolution of buying a home.
Tips to Help Make Your Home-Buying Resolution a Reality
Tip #1: Make a Plan
The first step to achieving any goal is to make a plan. Without one, it will be challenging to stay on track and achieve your goal of buying your dream home. When purchasing a home, you need to create a budget and timeline.
Figure out how much money you can afford to spend on a home and what your monthly budget looks like. Also, determine when you want to purchase the home.
If you are flexible with your timing, you may find a better deal on the market. Having a solid plan in place will help keep you motivated and focused throughout the process of buying a home.
Tip #2: Research Your Options
Once you have created your plan, it’s time to start researching your options. This includes looking at different neighborhoods, types of homes, and mortgage lenders.
By doing your research up front, you will narrow down your options and find the best deal for you. It’s also essential to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan to know how much money you can borrow.
Tip #3: Stay Organized
One of the biggest challenges of buying a home is staying organized throughout the process. There are many steps involved in purchasing a home, from finding the right property to getting approved for a mortgage loan.
By staying organized, you can avoid any last-minute surprises or delays. Make sure to keep track of all deadlines and paperwork related to buying a home, and create a filing system for all of your documents.
Tip #4: Ask for Help
First-time buyers feeling overwhelmed or need help with any part of the buying process shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.
Many professionals can assist you, including real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and attorneys. They can provide you with the guidance and support you need throughout the home-buying process. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it.
Tip #5: Get Pre-approved
Getting pre-approved allows you to make a more informed decision about whether or not you want that particular house, which can also help you save money. You can research the current market value of homes in the neighborhood you would like to purchase and determine what type of loan you need (a loan officer will usually help guide you along).
However, one of the biggest mistakes people make is not preparing themselves before applying for a pre-approved loan. You must have your finances in order and have a good idea of what type of property you want to purchase.
A great tip is to create a budget by making a spreadsheet that has all your household expenses and tracks each one for a month or two. Include regular bills such as energy, water, telephone service, internet access, and other utilities, as well as food items, entertainment, clothing, personal care products, and anything else you think is important to include.
This process may seem tedious, but it can help you identify areas where you could cut back or reduce spending if necessary. Also, consider tracking your fixed monthly expenses (such as rent, mortgage interest, insurance premiums, taxes, etc.)
Tip #6: Spend Less To Save More
There are loads of ways you can cut back on your spending habits, such as:
Saving on Utilities: Utilize technology and reduce energy usage by setting monthly billing reminders via email and phone calls. Also, sign up for utility discounts online to save extra bucks annually.
Find Free Entertainment: Go to websites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to watch videos, listen to music, and view photos live with family members or friends. There are also plenty of community events that are free to anybody and offer great entertainment.
Cook at Home: Many folks don’t realize how much they spend each month or even daily on eating out. If you regularly stop by a coffee shop each morning before work and dine out two to three times a week— you’ll be shocked how much that adds up! Instead, make your fancy coffee at home, put it in a travel mug each morning, and try cooking at home more often.
Tip: Google whatever types of foods you like to eat and try some new recipes with friends or family members instead of heading to a restaurant to celebrate your next holiday. If following a recipe scares you, opt for the recipe videos that show you step by step!
The money-saving doesn’t have to stop there either; you can also download apps on your smartphone that offer free shows from local television stations. If you are looking to find a way to cut back on your cable bill, consider getting a Roku.
Tip #07: Improve Your Credit Score
If you’re trying to apply for a loan, it’s essential to know that the better your credit, the better the interest rate will be. If your credit score is high, you’ll most likely qualify for a much lower interest rate than someone with a bad credit score.
The best way to improve your credit score is to pay off credit card debt and ensure that all your monthly payments are made on time. This won’t happen overnight, so you need to get started now rather than later.
Tip #8: Be Aware of Market Trends
Understanding the real estate market is crucial to your home buying success. For instance, if you buy a house in Sacramento, you’ll want to know about the current market trends and when the best time to buy is in 2022.
Partnering with a realtor from the beginning can save you a lot of headaches in the long run. They will have the experience and knowledge to help you navigate the home buying process and provide you with tips on the best time to buy.
Tip #9: Ask About FHA Loans
In many cases, first-time homebuyers can qualify for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. This is considered a home mortgage issued by a bank or approved lender and insured by the government.
FHA loans are designed to help people get approved when buying a home and typically require a lower down payment than conventional loans. The other benefit is your credit score won’t weigh as heavily for the approval process.
Tip #10: Stick to Your Budget
Almost everybody finds houses they love that are way out of their budget. Unfortunately, many of those same people commit to buying a home they really can’t afford and struggle to make ends meet after the ‘new home’ excitement wears off.
Always create a realistic budget and stick as closely as possible to what you can afford when looking to buy your next home. If you can manage to stay under your budget, you’ll have extra money each month to do renovations you’d otherwise have to put off until later.
Be open to all of your options and think about what you can afford to make the best decision for yourself. Also, be mindful that although new construction homes are amazing, older homes can be charming, full of character, and less expensive.
By following these tips, you can make your new year’s resolution of buying a home a reality. Buying a home is an exciting process, and with the proper planning and support, you can achieve your goal!
If you are in the market for buying a house this year, contact us today, and we’ll walk you through the whole process and answer all your questions.