Thinking of house hunting? Time to swing into action. Industry experts say this year's very busy buying season started earlier and will last longer than in previous years.
What does this mean for the buyer? If you are serious about buying a home this spring or summer, the time to get moving is now.
Here are 4 steps to get you started and help you get a jump on the buying competition.
1. Meet with a mortgage lender and get pre-qualified.
Whether you are buying your first house or your fifth, a mortgage lender will review the steps in the process and help you get on track to meet your buying goals.
During pre-qualification you can review your credit, discuss programs available and down payment options. Your mortgage lender will be able to help you set your buying range and provide an outline of the steps from application to close.
2. Know what you are looking for.
Make a list of the must-have versus the negotiable items, decide what areas you prefer to live in and have a sense for how long you may want to live there. These factors along with your buying range will help you narrow down your choices and focus your search.
When competition is tight for housing, knowing what is important to you will help you to stay focused and be ready to make an offer.
3. Meet with a real estate agent.
Although the vast majority of people start their home search online, most of them work with a real estate agent to complete the transaction.
Working with an experienced agent can help you save time and ensure a successful experience. A real estate agent will be able to get you an actual tour of the houses you are viewing online, provide tips and advice, help you negotiate a purchase price and finalize a purchase agreement.
4. Keep saving.
Do your best to save every dollar you can for buying your new house. Wait to make big expenditures, like buying a car or new furniture, until after you move in to your home.
Having more cash on hand will go a long way to help with a down payment and improve your financial picture to ensure you get the house you really want in a tight market.
Contact a Bell Bank Mortgage loan officer to get started.
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