Are you thinking of buying a new home in 2022 but don’t know where to start? Are you ready to finally fire your landlord and create your own equity? Is it time to move out of your starter home and into something that better fits your family’s needs? Your home search will be smooth-sailing if you go at it prepared. Here are 6 steps to get the ball rolling, and a new roof over your head in no time!
1. Estimate Price Point
Estimate how much house you can afford by determining what monthly payment you are comfortable with. Once you decide what monthly mortgage payment suits you, contact a lender. Let them know how much you want to spend every month and start talking about the different loan options available. If you don’t have a preferred lender, I’d be happy to share a list of great local lenders with you. I suggest talking to a few and getting a feel for who can provide the best loan product for your specific needs.
2. Down Payment Amount
Decide how much you will be putting down, and start saving or transferring funds if needed. This is something else a lender can help you determine. Some down payment options are as low as $0 down depending on the type of loan you qualify for.
3. Choose Your Hood
Get a feel for the neighborhoods, areas, and school districts you like and want to be a part of. If you are planning a move out of your current area, spend an afternoon driving around where you think you may want to move. Drive around at different hours of the day and visit a few local restaurants and shops in your potential new neighborhood. Take your commute to or from work and familiarize yourself with how your new drive will be. There are a lot of things you can change about a home, but you can’t pick it up and move it! Be sure to pick an area you will love!
4. Make a List
Time to start making a “non-negotiables” list! Write down all your must-haves and must NOT haves. Realistically finding every single thing you want, none of the things you don’t, in the perfect area, and at the perfect price is next to impossible! Therefore, a good rule of thumb is shooting for 80% of your wants and keeping an open mind on adding / changing your home to allocate for the other 20% down the road. This is another time I like to remind my clients to keep their preferred location at the top, since that’s one thing you can’t change!
5. Determine Your Timeline
Determine when you want to move. Keep in mind that it takes approximately 30-45 days to close after you get a home under contract. If you are trying to time your home purchase with the end of a lease, it’s a good idea to start looking at homes 3-4 months before your lease ends. This gives you time if you don’t find something right away, but also gives you the ability to shop around and not feel too rushed. Your first month’s mortgage payment won’t be due until a month after you close. Having a few weeks to a month over lap of your current place and your new home is a nice cushion to move without having to make two house payments.
6. Pick a Rockstar Agent
Interview a few, and determine who will be the best fit for your home search. I suggest going with someone you feel comfortable with, who is a full-time agent, and has experience under their belt. Feel free to ask your potential agents lots of questions, and get a feel for how they do business. Find out what you can expect in terms of service, availability, and knowledge.
Finally, it’s time to start shopping and crush your goal of buying a home in 2022! I hope this was helpful. If you’d like a copy of my first time homebuyer’s guide or my list of preferred lenders, send an email to email@example.com.
Happy House Hunting!
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