While shopping for a new home is one of the most exciting purchases in anyone’s lifetime, it’s also one of the most important decisions you can make. The costs can be daunting and are a top concern for renters looking to buy, according to NerdWallet, which sites that the median price of existing single-family homes increased 5.3% between December 2016 and December 2017. In April of 2018, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service revealed that prices for single-family homes in Seattle rose above $800,000 for the first time.
Considering the significant amount of money involved when buying a new house just about anywhere these days, it’s essential to consider these top 5 “dos and don’ts” before making your move whether you’re in Seattle, Phoenix, or anywhere in between.
5. DO figure out your budget and know what you can afford.
Go over your finances thoroughly, understanding your budget and what you can afford to spend. Getting a pre-approval for a mortgage loan can be a big help with this. It will not only determine which price range to look in, but potential neighborhoods. If you start without knowing your price range, you’re likely to end up disappointed and with a lot of wasted time.
4. DO check your credit.
Many credit reports contain errors. If even just one mistake exists, your score may be much lower than it should be, potentially preventing you from getting approved for a loan or costing you thousands. Even one point can make a difference – for example, if your score is 679, you may end up paying $3,000 more for a $300,000 loan than someone who has a FICO score of 680. By getting your credit report from all three major reporting agencies (Transunion, Equifax and Experian), you’ll not only get a good idea as to what you can expect when applying for a home loan, but you may be to get errors removed that will increase you score before moving forward.
3. DO plenty of research.
You don’t want to buy a home a find out your miserable living there after you move in. Slow down and do lots of research to think about what you really want and consider the livability of an area. What will your commute to work be like? Is it a safe community? Can you enjoy your favorite hobbies here? Create a list of your priorities and determine how well the neighborhood and/or home meets your needs.
2. DON’T give your personal data to everyone.
Once you know your credit score, you can provide that information to lenders to learn basic data about getting a loan, but don’t give out your social security number and other personal data to everyone. Only provide that when you’re actively shopping for a home loan – if you make a lot of inquiries within a short time frame it usually won’t harm your credit score, but inquiries spread out over time often do.
1. DON’T get too emotionally attached.
Never allow yourself to fall in love with a house before it’s thoroughly checked out. Be sure it’s inspected inside and out, that you consider the resale value and the location. Real estate agents often remark that emotional mistakes are common among homebuyers who are more likely to pay too much for what they perceive to be a “dream home” by letting feelings cloud their judgment.