How, When, Why, & Where are You Looking?
Thinking of moving soon? I'm sure you have many questions. It's a good idea to have a plan (notice how often this word will pop up). The first question is usually "where do I start?"
First things first, how do you plan to finance your purchase?
Is it a cash transaction? If so, be prepared to show proof of funds from your bank account. The cash under your mattress won't count. The proof of funds may be necessary to start looking but will definitely be required to accompany the offer on a property.
Are you planning on taking out a mortgage? If so, have you spoken with a lender to see how much you qualify for? Many buyers wait until they are emotionally ready to buy before discussing their options only to find they may have a low credit score or have too much debt. These are not dead ends, but with good planning two to three months (sometimes even 6 months) ahead, the lender can guide you to your qualification. on the other hand, some buyers don't call a lender yet because they think they don't qualify. Ironically, they find out they do or can very soon. Finda lender you can have a discussion with about your goals. A good lender will listen and not pressure you into any decisions. Online mortgages and banks may be a challenge for this type of client care. Ask around about local lenders and brokerages. If you are not sure, I have a few I can recommend.
How and when may go hand-in-hand. If you are not qualified yet, that may be the determining factor. If you are qualified, when may rely on several factors. Are you renting and if so, when is your lease up or how much notice do you have to give? This is important to plan a smooth settlement and move in process. Do you own and have to sell first? Are your children in school and you need to plan the timing for the new school year? Are you living with your parents and have total flexibility. All these factors will help us effectively plan your next or first home purchase.
Why are you thinking of buying? Is it your first home? Downsizing? Upsizing? Need more space? Better schools? Sidewalks (I had someone move because they had children and no neighborhood sidewalks)? Your reason is unique to you. Once you know HOW and WHERE you are buying, it's one step closer to planning your home search.
Where do you see yourself in five years, ten years, and so on? This question sounds like a job interview but it's useful for planning your house shopping adventure. Do you want to start a family, work remotely, or maybe don't want to do anymore yardwork and live in a homeowner's association? The answer will affect your choice so give it some thought.
A neighborhood that’s perfect for you today might be not-so-perfect in five or ten years as people move in and out and the landscape changes. So, it’s smart to get an idea of what the neighborhood is like today -- and to spend some time trying to predict where it might go in the future.
When is the best time to call me? The answer is now. Because sometimes questions, no matter how small they seem, need to be asked before you get started. It's the best time and way to plan your home buying adventure. And I am ALWAYS happy to help.