Not sure if 2023 is a good year to buy a home? Watch this video to learn more.

Watch my free Buyers Seminar Video Series Here

Click here for a free Buyers PDF download

Buying a home is a significant personal investment and is likely to be one of the biggest ones you make. To ensure you get the best home deal possible with minimal stress, being organized and in control is essential. To successfully achieve your housing goal, it's important to anticipate the steps required and develop a plan of action.

Before creating your plan, you need to lay the groundwork for your decision-making process. Begin by asking yourself how much you can afford to pay for a home. If you're unsure about the price range, seek a lender and obtain pre-approval. Pre-approval lets you know how much you can afford, enabling you to search for homes within your price range. It also reduces home-buying anxiety as you'll know the exact amount you qualify for, the interest rate, your monthly mortgage payments, and how much you'll have for a down payment. With pre-approval, you can avoid the frustration of finding perfect homes that are not within your price range.

Ask yourself about the location you want to live in and what the best area for you and/or your family is. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Convenience for all family members

  2. Proximity to work and school

  3. The crime rate in the neighborhood

  4. The availability of the local transportation

  5. Types of homes in the neighborhood, for example, condos, townhomes, co-ops, newly constructed homes etc.

Finding the Right Seller

A motivated seller can be your best bet in getting a home at a great price. These sellers are often willing to sell their homes for less than market value, and it's important to understand why they are selling. If you can solve their problem, whether it's financial or time-related, you might be able to make a deal.

For instance, if the seller needs a fast sale, offer a lower price but with a quick closing. To identify motivated sellers, ask them why they are selling. Some reasons might include a job change or financial difficulties.

However, some sellers should be avoided. Not every seller is as motivated as they claim to be, and some may have hidden issues with their property. Watch out for signs like stalling on appraisals or inspections, unresolved liens against the property, partial ownership of the property, delaying move-out dates, or a lack of a replacement property or backup plan. While it's impossible to find the perfect seller, you can protect yourself by identifying legitimate sellers and avoiding the ones with red flags.

Getting a Legitimate Lender and Getting Pre-Approved

In today’s real estate market, house hunters must take a different approach to secure their dream home. Gone are the days when buyers could go house hunting without pre-approval for a mortgage.

Pre-qualification for a mortgage involves answering general questions about income, debt, assets, and credit history, and receiving an estimate of how much you may qualify for. However, pre-qualification is not the same as pre-approval, which requires a completed mortgage application, a credit report, and verification of employment and assets.

With pre-approval, you know the exact amount of the maximum loan you can receive, giving you a clear idea of your home buying power. A pre-qualified letter is not verified and doesn't carry much weight when competing with other pre-approved buyers. Having pre-approval gives you credibility as a serious buyer and assures the seller you can afford their property.

It's important to work with a legitimate lender such as banks, mortgage bankers, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage brokers, and online lenders. Beware of lenders who lose forms, gather information haphazardly, or lack knowledge about interest rates, points, and costs

Hot, Normal, and Cold Markets

Hot Market

During an extremely competitive market, sellers have the advantage as homes can sell as soon as they are listed, or even before being listed. In such a hot market, multiple offers are typically made on each home, often resulting in sales above the asking price. As a buyer, it is essential to be well-prepared and ready in such situations. Although it can be tempting to get caught up in bidding for a home, being prepared by having pre-approval, a solid price range, and realistic housing needs will allow you to remain focused on finding the right home within your budget.

Normal Market

In a typical market, there is a balanced inventory of homes for sale and a moderate number of potential buyers. Neither buyers nor sellers hold the advantage in this market. While a seller may not receive numerous offers for their property, they are also not under pressure to sell quickly. In this scenario, it is crucial for the buyer to be prepared. Compared to a hot market, a normal market allows for more opportunities to negotiate. Buyers can often make offers below the asking price and bargain for a final price that is somewhat lower than the initial listing price.

Cold Market

In a cold market, homes may remain listed for over a year, and the listed prices may significantly drop. Such a market favors the buyer, who has more time to make an offer that suits their needs. It is common to submit low offers, and sellers may be willing to negotiate to meet the buyer's needs. However, it is important to avoid being unrealistic, as the market conditions do not guarantee that a dream home will always be available. The primary goal should be to secure the dream home at the best possible price.

I'll help you find the home you love...

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HOME BUYER RESOURSES DOWNLOAD HERE!

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Mortgage Calculator

Importance of Inspection

It's crucial for buyers to have a clear understanding of what they're purchasing before closing the deal. Even if the seller or listing agent provides information, it's essential not to assume anything. That's why it's highly recommended to have a professional home inspection, whether you're purchasing a new or existing home.

An inspection provides an opportunity for a specialist to closely examine the property and offer an oral and written evaluation of its condition. However, it's important to select a qualified organization to perform the inspection, such as a local or national trade organization like ASHI (American Society of Home Inspection).

During the inspection, it's critical to be present with the inspector to ask questions about the property and get unbiased responses. Additionally, the oral remarks are often more detailed and informative than what you'll find in the written report. After the inspection is complete, it's essential to review the report thoroughly to understand the property's state. Remember, never forego an inspection!

Use a Buyer’s Agent

Choosing an experienced and dedicated agent is crucial for a successful home buying process. Your agent should be actively searching for potential homes, keeping you informed throughout the entire process, negotiating on your behalf, and promptly answering all of your questions.

It's essential to find an agent who represents your interests rather than the seller's interests. This is especially advantageous during negotiations as your buyer's agent is prohibited from disclosing your top preferences to the seller. Moreover, they are motivated to help you get the lowest asking price possible.

Using a buyer's agent also means that you'll have access to more properties. They have access to their Multiple Listing Service and actively search for homes that are for sale by owner or off-market properties that homeowners are considering listing.

Why You Should Not Make Any Major Credit Purchases

If you're planning to purchase a new home, it's important to avoid making large credit purchases, or even using credit cards for unnecessary expenses. Your mortgage pre-approval is only a preliminary assessment of your financial standing, and it's subject to a final evaluation that will determine your eligibility for a home loan.

It's important to note that for every $100 you pay each month towards credit payments, you could potentially lose $10,000 in home buying power. For instance, a car payment of $300/month could lower your mortgage eligibility by $30,000.

Even if you have sufficient savings, it's best to hold off on making any significant purchases until after the home-buying process is complete. This will prevent you from realizing too late that you could have bought a better home if you had refrained from overspending.

Not sure if 2023 is a good year to buy a home? Watch this video to learn more.

Watch my free Buyers Seminar Video Series Here

Click here for a free Buyers PDF download

Buying a home is a significant personal investment and is likely to be one of the biggest ones you make. To ensure you get the best home deal possible with minimal stress, being organized and in control is essential. To successfully achieve your housing goal, it's important to anticipate the steps required and develop a plan of action.

Before creating your plan, you need to lay the groundwork for your decision-making process. Begin by asking yourself how much you can afford to pay for a home. If you're unsure about the price range, seek a lender and obtain pre-approval. Pre-approval lets you know how much you can afford, enabling you to search for homes within your price range. It also reduces home-buying anxiety as you'll know the exact amount you qualify for, the interest rate, your monthly mortgage payments, and how much you'll have for a down payment. With pre-approval, you can avoid the frustration of finding perfect homes that are not within your price range.

Ask yourself about the location you want to live in and what the best area for you and/or your family is. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Convenience for all family members

  2. Proximity to work and school

  3. The crime rate in the neighborhood

  4. The availability of the local transportation

  5. Types of homes in the neighborhood, for example, condos, townhomes, co-ops, newly constructed homes etc.

Finding the Right Seller

A motivated seller can be your best bet in getting a home at a great price. These sellers are often willing to sell their homes for less than market value, and it's important to understand why they are selling. If you can solve their problem, whether it's financial or time-related, you might be able to make a deal.

For instance, if the seller needs a fast sale, offer a lower price but with a quick closing. To identify motivated sellers, ask them why they are selling. Some reasons might include a job change or financial difficulties.

However, some sellers should be avoided. Not every seller is as motivated as they claim to be, and some may have hidden issues with their property. Watch out for signs like stalling on appraisals or inspections, unresolved liens against the property, partial ownership of the property, delaying move-out dates, or a lack of a replacement property or backup plan. While it's impossible to find the perfect seller, you can protect yourself by identifying legitimate sellers and avoiding the ones with red flags.

Getting a Legitimate Lender and Getting Pre-Approved

In today’s real estate market, house hunters must take a different approach to secure their dream home. Gone are the days when buyers could go house hunting without pre-approval for a mortgage.

Pre-qualification for a mortgage involves answering general questions about income, debt, assets, and credit history, and receiving an estimate of how much you may qualify for. However, pre-qualification is not the same as pre-approval, which requires a completed mortgage application, a credit report, and verification of employment and assets.

With pre-approval, you know the exact amount of the maximum loan you can receive, giving you a clear idea of your home buying power. A pre-qualified letter is not verified and doesn't carry much weight when competing with other pre-approved buyers. Having pre-approval gives you credibility as a serious buyer and assures the seller you can afford their property.

It's important to work with a legitimate lender such as banks, mortgage bankers, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage brokers, and online lenders. Beware of lenders who lose forms, gather information haphazardly, or lack knowledge about interest rates, points, and costs

Hot, Normal, and Cold Markets

Hot Market

During an extremely competitive market, sellers have the advantage as homes can sell as soon as they are listed, or even before being listed. In such a hot market, multiple offers are typically made on each home, often resulting in sales above the asking price. As a buyer, it is essential to be well-prepared and ready in such situations. Although it can be tempting to get caught up in bidding for a home, being prepared by having pre-approval, a solid price range, and realistic housing needs will allow you to remain focused on finding the right home within your budget.

Normal Market

In a typical market, there is a balanced inventory of homes for sale and a moderate number of potential buyers. Neither buyers nor sellers hold the advantage in this market. While a seller may not receive numerous offers for their property, they are also not under pressure to sell quickly. In this scenario, it is crucial for the buyer to be prepared. Compared to a hot market, a normal market allows for more opportunities to negotiate. Buyers can often make offers below the asking price and bargain for a final price that is somewhat lower than the initial listing price.

Cold Market

In a cold market, homes may remain listed for over a year, and the listed prices may significantly drop. Such a market favors the buyer, who has more time to make an offer that suits their needs. It is common to submit low offers, and sellers may be willing to negotiate to meet the buyer's needs. However, it is important to avoid being unrealistic, as the market conditions do not guarantee that a dream home will always be available. The primary goal should be to secure the dream home at the best possible price.

I'll help you find the home you love...

Fill out the form to get started

GET YOUR FREE

HOME BUYER RESOURSES DOWNLOAD HERE!

Search Homes

Mortgage Calculator

Importance of Inspection

It's crucial for buyers to have a clear understanding of what they're purchasing before closing the deal. Even if the seller or listing agent provides information, it's essential not to assume anything. That's why it's highly recommended to have a professional home inspection, whether you're purchasing a new or existing home.

An inspection provides an opportunity for a specialist to closely examine the property and offer an oral and written evaluation of its condition. However, it's important to select a qualified organization to perform the inspection, such as a local or national trade organization like ASHI (American Society of Home Inspection).

During the inspection, it's critical to be present with the inspector to ask questions about the property and get unbiased responses. Additionally, the oral remarks are often more detailed and informative than what you'll find in the written report. After the inspection is complete, it's essential to review the report thoroughly to understand the property's state. Remember, never forego an inspection!

Use a Buyer’s Agent

Choosing an experienced and dedicated agent is crucial for a successful home buying process. Your agent should be actively searching for potential homes, keeping you informed throughout the entire process, negotiating on your behalf, and promptly answering all of your questions.

It's essential to find an agent who represents your interests rather than the seller's interests. This is especially advantageous during negotiations as your buyer's agent is prohibited from disclosing your top preferences to the seller. Moreover, they are motivated to help you get the lowest asking price possible.

Using a buyer's agent also means that you'll have access to more properties. They have access to their Multiple Listing Service and actively search for homes that are for sale by owner or off-market properties that homeowners are considering listing.

Why You Should Not Make Any Major Credit Purchases

If you're planning to purchase a new home, it's important to avoid making large credit purchases, or even using credit cards for unnecessary expenses. Your mortgage pre-approval is only a preliminary assessment of your financial standing, and it's subject to a final evaluation that will determine your eligibility for a home loan.

It's important to note that for every $100 you pay each month towards credit payments, you could potentially lose $10,000 in home buying power. For instance, a car payment of $300/month could lower your mortgage eligibility by $30,000.

Even if you have sufficient savings, it's best to hold off on making any significant purchases until after the home-buying process is complete. This will prevent you from realizing too late that you could have bought a better home if you had refrained from overspending.