The path to homeownership is a marathon, not a sprint if we can help it. If you’re months (or maybe even years) away from being ready to own, there are still things you can start doing today to help you on your path to becoming a homeowner. And they’re all free, there’s nothing to stop you from getting started right now.
Find the perfect agent.
The best advice for people who are currently unable to purchase a home would be to plant some seeds in the homebuying process. You have to start somewhere, right? The first step is to find an agent who is patient and willing to work with you while you figure out your finances. Some buyers purchased up to three years after the initial introduction, so it’s always best to find an agent who is patient.
Talk to a lender.
While you’re getting set up with an agent who is comfortable being with you for the long haul you should also be reaching out to a mortgage lender. They will walk you through the process including what you’ll be able to reasonably afford, how much you’ll need to be saving for a down payment, and what you’re looking at when it comes to closing costs.
Set some goals.
Now you have a good understanding of what you might be able to afford, how much money you need to save, and how much debt you need to pay off. Now start “window shopping” with your agent. Select the neighborhood, bedroom and bathroom count, and of course the budget to see what type of home you can get in your preferred area. Make a list of homes you want to see but do most of it virtually, if something catches your eye then write it down as a must see.
Don’t get attached.
Spending every weekend cruising open houses or getting attached to any one property is not going to help. The beauty of working with a good agent is that window shopping is a great way to save time, view apartments and homes virtually. If one really catches your eye that fits the budget, it doesn’t hurt to view in person to get a better understanding of the market.
Ignore listing prices and focus on the final sales price.
Keeping an eye on the market is key because some homes aren’t listed anywhere near what their actual selling price will be, which can give hopeful buyers the wrong idea about how much house they can actually get with their budget. Some homes and apartments are priced low to gain traction and ultimately end up in a bidding war so it’s good to know what they actually sell for as data points to use when ready to start looking and submitting offers.
blog post by Chasity Rodriguez
Social Media Director