Whether you are buying a home in the winter or the summer, it is helpful to get your finances in line and repair your credit as you save for a home before you start shopping. It is also helpful if you are prepared for the current market and have a good idea of what you want in a home. The following provides you with some recommendations to assist you through the process of buying a home.
Evaluate the Market
Before you start look at homes for sale or consider making an offer on a home, you need to do some research about the local real estate market. Doing so will tell you what type of market there is, such as a buyer's or a seller's market, and how quickly homes are selling or if they are sitting on the market for a long time. You will also be able to get a good idea about home prices in a few different areas around your search area, which is a good way to determine which neighborhoods you can afford or want to buy in.
Contact your realtor to get some of the market's statistics in your area. Find out what the average sales price is for a few areas and also the condition of the home and its size and number of rooms. Once you have some insight into the market you will be buying in, you can better prepare yourself and make your efforts more successful. If a market is a buyer's market and homes are taking several months to sell, you know you can take your time to evaluate homes and make a competitive offer when you find a home. However, if the market is a seller's market and homes are selling quickly with multiple bids that increase the sale price, you need to be prepared to act quickly with a solid offer and financing or an all-cash offer.
Look at Your Options
There are many options when it comes to finding the right house for you. Do you want a single-family home that is multiple levels, or a home with single-level living? Or if you don't want the hassle of maintaining a yard, you may opt for a townhome or a condo that provides yard maintenance within the HOA's fees. You may also want to purchase a manufactured home in a managed park or set it on a permanent foundation on your own property.
You will also need to evaluate your expectations of the home's age and condition. For example, you can purchase an older home that has been renovated with historical charm, you can look for an older home that needs work with the potential for equity growth, or buy a home that is new and move-in ready.