Ahh, January-time to put 2014 firmly to bed and look toward what we want to accomplish in the New Year. So now that all the sweets have been eaten and gifts opened, let’s get focused on some goals that will improve our lives this year.
One of those items might be to buy a property that better suits your current lifestyle. If real estate goals are at the top of your list this year, there is no time like the present to start to marshal your forces and get organized. Don’t make the mistake of rushing in a helter-skelter fashion without clearly defining your needs and doing a few homework items.
For buyers, speaking to a great lender is number one. Find out what your buying power is, and what loan products are available that will suit your financial position. There may be things that you can do to improve your rate, or to help qualify you if you are having difficulty.
Second, set pen to paper (or stylus to device) and prioritize. I like the three column approach- needs, wants, and deal breakers. The list may change as you start to sift through available properties in your price point, but at least you have a well thought out starting point! Seems rudimentary? You would not believe how many potential buyers skip this crucial step- one that can cost them time and possibly the right house.
Next up? Select the right agents- ones that are full time, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and who you gel with personality-wise. You are going to be relying on them until the closing (and sometimes after!) and it is important to feel comfortable with them.
Preparing in advance will put you in a great position to move forward. Next time we will explore some great tips for sellers. Stay tuned!
(Editor’s note: Hilary and Jay, of the Property Aces Team, are with Long Realty, a Berkshire-Hathaway affiliate.)