Some say that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. If you’re thinking about buying a home this year 2023, now is a good time to start preparing for the opportunity that may be ahead.
Several trends are indicating that the 2023 year could be a very opportune time to buy a home. Home prices have edged downward in many parts of the country, mortgage rates are predicted to fall in this year and the vibrant spring homebuying market is on the horizon. If these factors align to create a strong buyer’s market, you’ll want to be ready to make your move while the opportunity is knocking.
Preparing early for your home search can help you eliminate hassles, make smarter decisions, and even save money. Here are four ways you can get ready to enter the home-buying market.
1. Create your wish list
You may already have your dream home in mind, but aligning that dream with your budget and the homes on the market isn’t always so simple. To prepare for that task, start by making a list of your “wants” and “must-haves” for your new home in order of priority. Once you start looking at places, this list will help you organize and rank your options, avoid impulse decisions, and ultimately choose the home that’s the best fit for you.
2. Find a real estate agent
Buying a home is a big event, and it can be a complicated and sometimes stressful process. That’s why finding and partnering with a quality real estate agent early on is highly recommended. Your agent will be your advisor and advocate through every step of the process, starting with helping you plan and prepare for your home search and purchase. Best of all, homebuyer agents are paid by home sellers, so you don’t even have to open your checkbook to enlist the services of a great agent.
3. Talk with a lender
How much home can you afford? Does your credit need improvement? How much cash will you need for your purchase? These questions and others are why you should talk with a lender well before you start your home search. A mortgage loan officer can help you review your credit, evaluate your mortgage options and get you preapproved for a loan – all at no cost. This will help you set your homebuying budget, show sellers that you’re a serious buyer, and minimize any surprises later on.
4. Save up for closing costs
Many people are pleasantly surprised by how little cash they need to buy a home. That said, you definitely don’t want to come up short when you’re ready to make a home purchase. Your lender and agent can help you estimate just how much cash you’ll need based on your homebuying budget and the other factors involved in your purchase. You may even qualify for a down payment and closing cost assistance, and you may be able to use gift funds from a family member or other benefactor.
As another saying goes, you can never be too prepared. Even if you don’t know which way your homebuying plans will go in the months ahead, getting prepared early shouldn’t cost you anything but a bit of your time. That small investment now may pay off in a big way once you’re ready to buy when the time is just right.