Buying a home takes time. There’s a lot more that goes into buying than renting—it’s a costly venture, and likely a long-term one, so you want to make sure you’re finding a financially and personally good fit. If you’re planning on buying in 2020, now’s the time to get started planning!
Prepare for Buying in 2020… Now!
There’s no time like the present! Here’s what you should be doing now if you want to check “buy a home” off your 2020 to-do list!
Audit your finances
Buying a home is a huge financial decision, one you definitely don’t want to jump into without first reviewing your finances to see where your money is going. You’ll also want to evaluate how much you spend, and how much you have left over to use toward your mortgage—plus additional expenses like utilities or home improvements.
Focus on savings
Buying a home involves some pretty big upfront costs. Even if you’re not using a loan that requires a full 20% down payment (many of them don’t!), you’re still likely going to need several thousand dollars in cash to finalize that purchase.
There are a number of ways you can grow your savings—like regular monthly deposits, matching purchases with a deposit into savings, cutting monthly expenses, and more.
Learn more about the area
Buying a home is about much, much more than the four walls you live in. Sure, the kitchen and the master bath are important, but you know what? If you really don’t like them, they can be changed. One thing that can’t be changed, however, is the land the home’s on—and the area around it.
Real estate is all about location, location, location, so it behooves you to do a little area research before buying a home. You want to focus on finding a location that works for you—the amenities, the commute, the prices—but that also holds its value. (This is where it really comes in handy to have a savvy local real estate agent.)
Think about what you want in a home
Once you decide where you’d like to live, you can start dreaming about that luxurious master suite, and other features you’d like to have in a home. It’s important, however, to not get caught up in details or in easily-altered features and instead worry about the things that are most important.
For example, it’s much better to buy a house with an adequate number of bedrooms and a dated kitchen than a home with tons of fresh updates that’s just too small. Size, style, layout, and overall structure should be main concerns, as these aren’t easily updated.
Get preapproved for a loan
Before you start searching for homes, it’s a good idea to at least start talking to lenders, and if you’re pretty serious about buying, to get preapproved. This is actually a pretty crucial step—talking to a lender will help you determine if there are any red flags that might prevent you from qualifying for a loan, and if so, what you might be able to do to improve your financial situation.
Getting preapproved comes with a whole host of additional benefits, too. For one thing, you’ll know exactly how much you can qualify for… and what that cost might look like per month (your lender can even factor in things like homeowner’s insurance and property taxes). For another, it’ll show sellers you’re serious and able to back any offers you make—which makes your offer much more appealing.
Find a fantastic local agent
The most important thing you can do for yourself as a home buyer is to find a great local agent. A good agent is going to help you take care of the rest—from recommending lenders to helping you pinpoint the right area to negotiating offers so you definitely get the best deal. They’ll also handle all the communication between you and the seller—arranging showings, negotiating, and clearing up any questions.
Best of all? You don’t pay for an agent! That’s the seller’s cost.
Ready to Get Started?
If you’re thinking of buying a home in 2020, now’s the time to start looking for a great local agent. If you’re interested in Bayonne or the Gold Coast of New Jersey, Century 21 Viewpoint Realty is here to help! Contact us today to learn more about how we can ensure you find the perfect home in just the right spot.