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Top 3 Tips Homebuyers Need to Know Right Now

By Jamie Richardson | November 23, 2022

Whether you're buying a home for the first time, downsizing from an empty nest, or looking for a spacious pad for your growing family, you'll want to begin the home buying process with proper planning. 

Experienced homebuyers already know the real estate market changes. Indeed, the market may look a lot different this time around. Housing demands may be high, leaving home buyers wary of finding the perfect house. But you can be on top of the game with a bit of planning.

Consider these three tips for homebuying right now: 

1. Know What You Can Afford

Finding the perfect house for your family gets easier when you have a budget. Knowing how much you can afford eliminates wasted time and the hassle of trying to get approved by a lender. To get started, you'll want to consider several things when formulating your house-buying budget.

First, you'll want to consider your income, monthly debts, and the amount of savings you have for a down payment. Although your household income may be stable, unexpected expenses can affect your savings. Financial advisors usually say you should have up to three months of payments in reserve. Lenders also use a method to determine how much you can afford by comparing your total monthly debts to your monthly pre-tax income. As a general rule, your housing expenses shouldn't exceed more than 28% of your monthly income. 

An easy way to calculate your housing budget is by multiplying your income by 0.28. For example, an income of $6,500 per month multiplied by 0.28 would yield a housing budget of $1,820 per month.

2. Get Your Mortgage Loan Pre-Approved

Save yourself time in the home-buying process by getting your mortgage pre-approved by a qualified lender. Today, most top real estate agents only show homes to qualified homebuyers. A pre-approval letter helps you and the Realtor determine what neighborhoods are the best match. 

Keep in mind that first-time homebuyers who are working with a real estate agent may want to get a fully verified pre-approval letter. This letter goes a step further to confirm your financial documents, thereby sealing your confidence in what you can afford.

And if you're considering building a house versus buying one that's move-in ready in popular markets like Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle, or Phoenix, know that most builders will not start construction on your home until you provide an approval letter.

3. Find a Real Estate Agent

If you're thinking about moving soon, consider partnering with an agent who can help you make a smooth transition. According to a study conducted by United Van Lines, many Americans flocked south in 2021, primarily to be closer to family. 

If you're considering moving to a new state such as Florida, which experienced 62% growth in 2021, you'll want a Realtor who knows the area, its culture, and where to find the best schools. Knowing where to find the finest food and entertainment is always a bonus!  

Consider these hallmarks when searching for a top real estate agent:

  • Familiarity with the local area
  • Friendly and professional demeanor
  • Reputation for closing deals quickly and successfully
  • A skilled negotiator and proactive problem-solver
  • Has experience working with clients' needs like your own
  • Empathetic to your family's needs

Crossing the Threshold

Although buying a home requires some pre-planning for the best experience, working with a top-notch real estate agent can eliminate stress and ensure you have a positive experience. Put the tips mentioned above into place as you prepare to hunt for the perfect home. When closing day arrives, you'll feel the pride of homeownership as you're crossing the threshold of your new home sweet home. Cheers!

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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