The cold is already lifting, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve already mentally fast-forwarded to warmer days. Before you sink too deep into your daydreams, though, remember that this time of year might just be the perfect opportunity to get a jump-start on the competitive Spring housing market. So, how do you get the upper hand you need?
Budgeting yourself is pretty much an all-around good first step when considering any large purchase or investment. Knowing your range and having an overall awareness of your expenses before entering the competition keeps you prepared so you aren’t wasting time scrambling over the important stuff last minute. Prepare a budget with your monthly expenses to get an idea of what you can afford to spend on a new home.
Going hand-in-hand with creating your budget, getting pre-approval is the most important thing you can do to get that kick start. Getting pre-approved from a lender will qualify you for a specific loan amount, letting you know exactly how much house you can afford. This will help direct you towards properties that are attainable and will declutter your home search. If you want a real estate agent and seller to take you seriously, pre-approval is your foot in the door.
Wouldn’t it be nice if finding your dream home in real life was as easy as finding it on Pinterest? Unfortunately, that is not always the case, so it might be a good idea to figure out how you are willing to compromise. Think ‘Must-haves’ vs. ‘Wants.’ Is a longer work commute worth the larger, less expensive home? How many full baths do you really need? And are having quartz countertops over granite as big of a deal as it seems right now? Thinking about these small details now and figuring out which ones can go will help make the homebuying process a whole a lot more stress-free. To make it even easier, use our “Compare While You Shop” checklist to make sure you have it all organized.
If you find your perfect new house, but have no one to take your current one, then you are in a bit of a pickle my friend. It can be easy to focus all of your attention on finding a new home and forget that you still have to sell the one you already have. Using this quiet time to make a few changes around the house and bring it to its full potential will really serve you well in the long run. Deep cleaning, freshening the décor, trimming the landscape, repainting in neutral colors and getting some professional quality photos taken are all good ways to make sure you are show ready. Check this blog post out to see how you can cater your home selling preparation specifically for the winter months.
Buying a home is a whole lot like taking that college final exam – it can be a scary process if you aren’t well prepared. Taking these small steps into account right now and getting them out of the way will pay off when it’s time to put them to good use in the Spring.
Getting cozy with the idea of getting cozy in a new home? Start the process off right: get pre-approved!