If buying a home in 2018 is at the top of your to-do list, now is the perfect time to gear up for the process. Whether you are looking to buy a home in January or late next year, you can save plenty of time and frustration by preparing now. The real estate agents at Lawrence Realty, Inc. in Red Wing, MN, share the following list of tips to help you get the ball rolling.
How to Prepare to Buy a Home in 2018
1. Strengthen Your Credit Score
Your credit score has the most significant effect on your new house payment. The higher your score, the greater your chance of snagging a good interest rate. If your credit could use some improvement, start working on it now. Pay off old debts, pay down credit card balances, and dispute incorrect items. Also, don’t open any new lines of credit. Additional accounts can significantly affect your score and potentially cost you that dream home.
2. Bulk up Your Savings
Many buyers underestimate the amount of money required to close on a home. That’s why it is so important to have a reserve fund to cover unforeseen expenses. With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up in the shopping frenzy. If you want to make your dreams of buying a home in 2018 a reality, resist the urge to splurge. Instead, allocate that money towards savings. When your friends and family inquire about your holiday wish list, suggest that they make a financial donation to help you bulk up your savings.
3. Get Preapproved
Nothing is more heartbreaking than finding the home of your dreams and realizing you can’t afford it. To prevent this, visit a lender and get approved. That way, you will know up front just how much you can afford to spend. Also, by visiting a lender early, you can learn other ways to strengthen your financial position and land your dream home.
4. Research Neighborhoods
Don’t wait until you attend your first open house to start looking for a new neighborhood. Research the area and drive through it to get a feel for what you like. Is your ideal community close to shopping centers and public transportation? Does it have quality schools? These are all factors that will narrow down your choices when you buy a home. Weigh them now so you don’t waste time looking at homes that lack essential criteria.
5. Find a Real Estate Agent
The complexities of real estate can be overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time buyer. Build a relationship with an agent to help you along the journey towards homeownership. These professionals are invaluable when it comes to locating properties, offering advice, and negotiating with sellers.
Taking a few simple steps now will help you jump into 2018 ready to buy a home you and your family will enjoy for years to come. If you are looking for a trusted agent to help you on your search, look no further than Lawrence Realty, Inc. This team of top-notch agents has over 68 years of experience to help you navigate the buying process. Call them at (651) 388-4745 and start browsing current listings on their website.