Part 1 of a 2-Part Series
Pandemic-related uncertainties may have altered your original plans to buy and/or sell a home in 2022. As a result, you may be unsure about post-COVID-19 real estate goals. Perhaps the newfound opportunity to work from home virtually has inspired you to move to another locale? Or maybe you started homeschooling your children because of lockdowns and want to continue. If so, you may want to find a house with enough room for a classroom. Whatever your motivation, if you plan to buy a home in the next few months, read on. This blog post should help you cover the bases. From finance to logistics, consider changes on the horizon so you can streamline your home purchase in 2022.
Check back next week, when we conclude this two-part series, by focusing on how to prepare to sell your home in 2022.
Finance your purchase
One of the first things to consider is how to secure financing when you buy a home:
- Talk to a real estate professional before you buy a home.
- Ask for an introduction to a mortgage lender. At SoCal Platinum Properties, we have assembled an expert team of real estate and mortgage financing professionals. This helps makes the entire process as seamless as possible.
- Talk to your lender about getting pre-approved. When it’s time to seriously consider bidding on new homes, you will want to have a pre-approval in your back pocket. Doing so will show sellers that you are serious about your offer. And in this competitive housing market, you will want to take advantage of anything you can to stand apart.
- In the meantime, check your FICO score. Run your credit report to check for mistakes. If you find any, start working to rectify them. If your score is less than optimal, explore strategies for raising it in the months ahead.
How to Improve your Credit Score so you can buy a home:
- Pay bills on time.
- Add rent and utility payments to your Experian, TransUnion and Equifax reports.
- Eliminate debt and avoid racking up new debt.
- In addition, talk to your lender about the types of home mortgage products you qualify for. Consider VA, FHA, and conventional. Find out the optimal credit score range you’ll need so you can be approved for each.
Determine Price Range
Working with a lender, come up with a rough price range for your home search. This is important because it will help narrow down the neighborhoods, home types, and home sizes you should be considering.
Note: When you buy a home, qualifying for a certain amount doesn’t mean you should spend that much. Don’t feel the need to shop at the high end of your budget. Consider your lifestyle, debt, plans, and disposable income when determining your home purchasing power.
Compare Potential Markets
Before you buy a home, start looking at markets where you might want to move. Talk to your real estate agent to find out the features you’ll find in each of the areas you’re considering. Determine priorities to narrow down your search. For example, consider:
- Children’s programming
- Commute times
- Convenient shopping and services
- Dining and nightlife
- Larger homes
- Larger lot sizes
- Recreational opportunities
- Resale potential
If possible, spend time in potential neighborhoods. Shop at the grocery store, eat in a local restaurant, and visit a nearby attraction. Check out the people to make sure they are a good fit for what you would like to see in neighbors.
Compare Potential Home Styles and Features
Review listings to determine what home styles and features matter most to you. Create a wish list and prioritize with “must-have,” “nice-to-have,” and “optional” items. Determine how different updates, upgrades, and features impact price. Consider what you could alter after the purchase and what could wait until after move-in.
Prepare for Associated Expenses
Buying a home is expensive; not just before and during, but after the purchase. So, make sure you calculate these expenses ahead of time. This is crucial since you won’t be able to run up additional debt during the mortgage underwriting process. Don’t forget about these moving-related expenses:
- Earnest Money Deposit (EMD): 1–5% of the purchase price
- Down Payment: Usually 3–20% of the purchase price
- Closing Costs: Variable (discuss these with a real estate professional or mortgage lender)
- Moving Costs: These should be considered whether you hire professional movers or opt to rent a truck and enlist family and friends to unload your possessions on either end.
- Storage Unit (if necessary)
- New furniture and design elements. (And don’t forget about smaller line items such as trash cans and cleaning supplies you won’t necessarily want to move from your current home.)
- Necessary repairs and improvements
Don’t Forget About Other Incalculable Costs When You Buy a Home
If you have young children, spend some time preparing them for the emotional impact. If possible, show them the new neighborhood, play in the park, or spend a day with classmates at their new school. The more you communicate and demystify the process, the more comfortable (and excited) young youngest members will be.
About SoCal Platinum Properties, Inc.
Real estate investing can be tricky—whether you are buying your first home, purchasing a vacation home, or upgrading from a starter. If you are interested in buying or selling property in or around San Dimas, California and the surrounding area, don’t get caught in a Catch 22 — owning two homes or none at all. We list properties and advertise them to guarantee a swift sale for maximum profit. We also assist home buyers as they hunt for, make competitive offers, and purchase residential property. Realize your dream of homeownership, reduce your house payments to free up funds for whatever purpose you see fit. We offer the following refinance options: We offer the following Refinancing Programs: FHA Streamline, FHA Cash Out, FHA 203k, VA Streamline, VA Cash Out, Conventional, Commercial and Jumbo loans. Lock in your low rate today (213) 709-5178.