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Buying a home this summer? Here’s how to get started

Are you planning on diving into the housing market this season? Buying a home this summer can be a great experience for you, especially when you start off on the right foot. The stronger your takeoff, the better shape you will be in by the time you cross the finish line. Getting started can be the hardest part of buying a home, but we’re here to help make it simple. Here are some things you should keep in mind as you prepare to enter the world of real estate.

Make a list of your housing needs

This is a big task, and one you should do early on. Narrowing down your housing needs will guide you through the rest of the buying process. The sooner you have a concrete idea of what you require, the easier it will be for you to navigate the market. When it comes to your housing needs, you want to consider only those items that are absolutely necessary for you to purchase a home. This might include size, location, and property type, for example. If you have children, or need to have easy access to public transportation, it is reasonable to have firm requirements in these areas. However, your housing “wants” are items that would be nice to have, but their absence would not necessarily be a dealbreaker for you. For instance, a big yard and finished basement are great, but odds are they aren’t on your must-haves list.

You should definitely search for homes that meet your wants as well as your needs. However, it’s important to know what you’re truly looking for underneath all those extra factors. This will help your real estate agent find properties that are most likely to become your home this summer.

Reach out to a real estate agent

Speaking of real estate agents, you need to have one! While it is not legally required to use a realtor to buy a home, it’s an unwritten rule for success in the housing market. Real estate agents know all about housing prices, available properties, offers, and agreements. Their knowledge is invaluable to you, so take advantage of it! Plus, sellers and their agents are far more likely to take you seriously if you have an agent on your side. The market can be confusing, and if you try to navigate it solo, you are at a much higher risk of encountering difficulties and setbacks.

You can read more about what you should look for in a real estate agent here. If you need some help searching for the right agent, we can point you in the right direction as well.

Secure a pre-approval

When buying a home this summer, don’t forget about the importance of a pre-approval. This is another step in the buying process that some people think they can skip over, but it is an essential part of success in the market. A pre-approval gives you an idea of what you might be able to afford in mortgage financing in your current position. This takes into account your income, expenses, and employment, for example. A lender can calculate what they may be willing to commit to based on your situation. 

Pre-approvals are helpful in a couple of ways. First, they tell you where you currently stand, and if you have any improvements to make before applying for your mortgage approval. Second, it puts you on a lender’s radar and provides them with much of your information ahead of time. This means when the time comes to secure your approval, the lender will already have a lot of what they need, which can speed up the process. 

Work closely with a mortgage broker

Mortgage brokers are a key part of buying a home. We can do so much for buyers to help them feel comfortable and confident in the housing market. Reaching out to us early ensures we can serve you throughout the entire buying process. We can chat about your buying needs and determine what kind of budget you might be working with. We can also examine your credit and give you some guidance on improving your credit score or clearing out debt, if necessary. Plus, we have access to mortgage lenders who might only work with clients who come from brokers. This means you have several potential options, and we work with you to secure the right one. As your broker, we advocate for you in the market. It is our job to find you the best product for your needs, so you can be sure your mortgage is the right fit for you.

Don’t rush the process

Finally, it’s important to take your time as you move through the buying process. A few years ago, there was no time to dawdle if you wanted to purchase a home. Properties were coming and going within days, and prices were skyrocketing as a result. Now, however, buyers are in a much better position. The market has slowed down, giving buyers time to take a full tour, secure mortgage financing, and complete a home inspection. Housing prices are not increasing at the rate we saw in 2020, so passing on a property today does not mean paying double tomorrow. In this kind of market, it is better to take your time and purchase a property you truly love. 

Buying a home this summer is bound to be an exciting experience. As you prepare to dive into the market, don’t forget to do your research, and reach out to the right professionals. We look forward to working with buyers like you!

If you have questions about your mortgage, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.