By Lesly Perez
The housing market has been sky-high for the last several years, not just in the United States, but around the world. Prices are up, there are more buyers than sellers, and often when a house is on the market, people are offering more than the asking price. This situation is fueled by the low interest rates often offered by banks right now to people with good credit scores. What does all this mean for people who are looking to buy right now?
If you are looking to buy, it is very important to be aware of what the current housing market is like. Since the market is currently a seller’s market, look for places that are listed below your approved value. When you place your bid, there will probably be a lot of competition, with other prospective buyers offering more than the asking price. You want to make sure you have the funds to get the house you want.
It is also important for you to have the right team behind you. You want to have a realtor you can trust. Someone who isn’t in the business just for themselves, but who will put in the work to help you find the right property. The best way to do this is to make sure you spend some time sitting down and talking to your realtor before hiring them, a short conversation should be enough to get a feel for the who the realtor is as a person and what their goals are.
You should also hire a real estate attorney. The bank will have their own attorney, but you cannot count on them, they are there to serve the needs of the bank, not necessarily you as a buyer. A real estate attorney may set you back a few hundred dollars now, but it could save you thousands in the end and is well worth the investment.
Finally, don’t enter into the buying process without educating yourself first. Know what your credit score is and fix it before you start looking if it isn’t very good. A decent credit score for buying a house should at least be in the 620 to 680 range, anything lower than that will lead to a mortgage with a high interest rate. You should also start saving early to make sure you have a good down payment. There are some first-time buyer programs out there that will get you a decent interest rate with as little as 3.5% down, but ideally you want to have more than that.
There are a lot of common mistakes that I see homebuyers making when they decide to enter into the process of becoming homeowners. For one, a lot of people come to the game too early and they are unprepared for the process. Buying a house takes preparation!
You need to have a history of savings, banks will look at that. You need to talk to an expert. Go to a bank and get your finances in order. Pay off your debt or make sure that you have a plan for paying off your debt included in your budget. Make a budget to determine what sort of payment you can afford. There is a lot of planning and forethought that should go into the process. You can’t just wake up one morning and decide you want to buy a house.
If you try to buy a house and get turned down, don’t get discouraged. Set up a plan of action and work with a mortgage agent to figure out what you need to do to get approved. What is on your credit report that got you denied? Fix it. Set up a plan and work for it. It could be as little as six to eight months before you are ready to try again. Don’t give up!
Ultimately, if you want to be happy with your purchase, it is well worth it to make sure you have everything in place before you start looking. Knowing what the market is like, having a great team supporting you, and being well-educated on your financial situation will go a long way towards helping you find your dream home.
My name is Lesly Perez. I am a real estate agent and a certified staging expert with Exit Realty Corporation. Exit Realty has been in business for over two decades, I enjoy working with them because of their focus on training and education, as well as their excellent sponsorship program. Through them I am able to sponsor other realtors to join my company and ensure that they are supported and successful.
I provide real estate services for the Middlesex and Suffolk areas of Massachusetts, and I also offer complimentary staging services to anyone who lists their house with me. My goal as a real estate agent is to focus on the needs of my clients. Sometimes this means I work with them to guide them to clarity, especially buyers who I find are often not ready or unsure of their needs and wants. I want to help people achieve their dreams of selling or buying homes, but more importantly, I want to help them in a way that ensures they are happy with the end result. To me, there is no greater satisfaction than knowing that someone is happy with your service. If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the areas I serve, I would love to represent you. Please contact me at email@example.com for more information.