Thanks to Cait Wilker from Cait’s Corner for this informative guest post about House Hunting! Especially in California, pricing is starting to decrease and inventory is stabilizing.
Purchasing a home can be some of the most exciting moments of your adulthood but it can also be extremely stressful. Although there are a few details that might look different right now, the overall process of buying a home remains the same and figuring out the key steps can help you reach your goal and make your dream a reality with just a few things. Regardless of when you actually plan to buy a home, there are a few tips you need to look out for. On average, looking for the perfect home can take roughly a few months. You need about 2-4 months to find the right house and then add another month to close. The process can also take a while as well such as looking at your credit and financing options, finding a real estate agent and making offers to negotiate the right price.
Buying a home can be stressful during the best of times, and it might feel positively overwhelming during a pandemic. Although a few of the details may look different right now, the overall process of buying remains the same — and understanding the key steps can help you reach your goal and make your dream a reality.
- Credit Score: One of the biggest tips to helping you house hunt is knowing what you can actually afford. Your credit score has a lot to do with this. A credit report is pulled from data from three major credit reporting agencies including Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. In this report, it shares both your FICO score and your Vantage score. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you’ll receive. Generally speaking, a credit score of 720 or higher will get you a good interest rate on a conventional loan, but qualification criteria depends on the specific lender. For FHA loans, you can usually get approved with a credit score of 580 or higher. If you are unhappy with your score there are a few ways to impact your score including the type of credit, length of your credit history, total debit and payment history.
- What Can You Afford: Once you are pre approved a lender will tell you the max amount you are able to borrow. Once you have a budget in mind, make a list of some of your must-have home features. Your price point will dictate the size , location and amenities of your future home. Below are a few ideas to keep in mind such as the type of home, preferred location, square footage, number of bathrooms and bedrooms and school district.
- Location: Next to finding out what you can afford, location is the biggest thing first time homeowners look for. If you can’t find or afford a home in your ideal neighborhood you’ll want to look at one that fits your budget, your needs and your lifestyle. Remember, your home’s location cannot be changed so take time to really look at them and where you’ll be the happiest living for a few years.
4. Protection: One way to keep your home, your loved ones including your kids and pets safe and protected is putting in a fence in your backyard. When looking at various fences, you want something that keeps you feeling secure, looks great with your home as well as its longevity. One company called Brazilian Wood Depot to help you make such a big decision. This business offers composite vs brazilian wood fences as well as wood options including Ipe or purplewood. There are so many ideas so it would be wise to talk to them to see what would work best with your audience.
5. Keep In Mind Needs Vs Wants: There’s a big difference between wants and needs, so create two different lists when searching for a home. For instance, a shorter commute may be a must-have, but smart home features are a nice-to-have. Practicality and functionality should always take priority over the bells and whistles!
As you begin your house hunting tours, keep these tips in mind, do your best to find one that fits the must wish list and also see what you can afford but don’t feel as if you need to purchase a home at the top of your budget. Again, you can always work on cosmetic items and go slow when making this house a home.
Thanks again to Cait for this post. All content in this post and any opinions are solely of the author.