The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pound away at the economy but homes are selling in record numbers. The newest U.S. home prices numbers show the biggest jump in more than 6 years, driving the number of available properties for sale to record lows… and increasing the opportunity for homebuyer mistakes.
It’s the perfect combination of high demand and limited supply. Fueled by the pandemic that’s forced millions to work from home, more people are looking for larger and more flexible living spaces.
Unfortunately, it creates a market ripe for homebuyer mistakes if you aren’t careful. Lucky for you, I AM careful. If you want your dream home in this market you’ll need to act fast but don’t rush. Here are a few other do’s and don’ts.
Don’t overlook LOCATION:
Yes, homes don’t last long on the market but the last thing you need right now is to buy too much home without thinking it through. Consider not only the features of the home but the location. Your kids might not be in school now but they will go back eventually. You can improve a bathroom but you can’t change the school. Will you always work from home or will you need to begin driving back to the office at some point? Your home should fit your life now and in the future.
Don’t skip home inspections:
Arranging inspections take time, energy and money. However, I’ve found it is money well spent if it reveals problems in the house that could cost you more down the line. You may be anxious to move into that perfect home office but trust me, make sure there are no structural or electrical issues before you move in. Do your due diligence.
Now is not the time to get yourself into a home you can’t afford. Well, there’s never a good time for that but with the economy on shaky ground don’t even push your luck. While we want you to love your home, you don’t want to end up with a house that ruins your ability to achieve important financial goals. Keep a level head.
Shop around for a mortgage:
Mortgages are really affordable right now but not all are created equal. Even with low rates its important to shop around. A mortgage is a major financial obligation that you’re committing to for the next few decades so do yourself a favor and get several quotes from different lenders. Even a small difference in interest rate, loan fees or qualifying requirements could make a big cost difference in the long term. I recommend getting pre-qualified so you can move quickly when you find your perfect home.
Factor in extra costs:
From closing costs to the extras, you’ll suddenly need when you move the extra costs associated with moving can be a shock. Forget to factor in closing and you could be scrambling for thousands of extra dollars. And who knows how many runs you’ll need to make to the hardware store to get ‘a few things’. Of course, there could be homeowner association fees to factor in along with your mortgage. Plan ahead.
If you have questions about how much house you can afford, whether you qualify for a mortgage loan or mortgage loan rates, or wonder what neighborhood might be best for your family and lifestyle, then give me a call. That’s what I’m here for! I’ve got all the information you need to make informed decisions as a first-time homebuyer.