Summer is quickly approaching and with interest rates being as low as they are (the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage is below 3%), folks are eager to buy a house. Some people who have been allowed to work remotely and the possibility of becoming a permanent policy are interested in relocating to an entirely new community – sometimes even across the country!
But before you start packing your bags, you’d probably want to wait until after the school year is over. It’ll be much easier for you and your children to make that transition and you’ll have two and a half months to get them help with the unpacking!
To help make things a little less stressful, here are three things that you’ll want to make sure you do before you even begin looking for a new abode.
1. Know your neighborhood
Families who want to buy a new house but stay in the same neighborhood and school district can skip over this tip because you’re already familiar with your surroundings. However, for those who want to move away from the familiar and find a place to set down roots, you’ll want to do some research into the area.
When you’re trying to learn more about your desired location, you’ll want to look at the things that are most important to you and your family. This means looking into the things that matter most. For example, find out what the school district is like? How bad is the crime rate? Is there access to outdoor activities or public transportation? How much are the property taxes?
2. Hire a real estate pro
If you’ve had any dealings with real estate, you know how important it is to have a top-rated real estate agent on your side. Families who are staying in the same area may already have an agent that they’ve worked with or knows someone who could give first hand recommendations. This is great because it takes out a lot of the guesswork!
Yet, if you’re moving to a new area, it’s going to be a little more difficult finding an agent that’ll have your best interests at heart. Sure, you could use Google and call the first agent that pops up, but that doesn’t mean they’re someone you’d want to work with.
Instead, take your time to reach out to a few agents and ask them some questions about their background, their professional connections, how well they know the area and so on. Don’t be afraid to interview as many agents as you need to until you find someone who you feel like you can trust. This is a huge investment afterall.
3. Secure financing via pre-approval
A pre-approval letter from a lender is almost like having a golden ticket. That piece of paper (while only good for 30-days) tells you and your agent exactly how large your budget is. Also, by having a pre-approval letter and letting the seller’s agent know tells the seller that you are a serious buyer. It also reassures them that if they accept your offer, the transaction won’t be delayed or terminated due to financial hiccups.
2021 is the year of being prepared
In a survey released by Homelight for Spring 2021, 93% of real estate agents reported that home values are increasing and by May 2021, the median price increased by 19.1% according to a report by NAR. As a buyer entering today’s market, you need to have a plan. You need to be prepared for a competitive market and these steps are just a few ways you can put yourself ahead of the rest of the pack.
If ever you find yourself overwhelmed at any stage of the homebuying process, don’t be afraid to confide in your agent. They’ll give you the information you need to make wise decisions that’ll be best for you and your family.