Buy a home in 2022

While many people are making traditional New Year’s resolutions like exercising, losing weight, reading, etc.

If buying a home is high on your solution list, here are some tips to get you started on the right track.

Consult a local expert

A good place to start is to get in touch with a professional REALTOR® to hold a preliminary talk, ask questions and set expectations.

When looking for a REALTOR® interview at least three agents before choosing who you will work with. Seek recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors – word of mouth is often the best, most reliable way to find an agent.

REALTOR® Sean Gardner of Coldwell Banker’s Thornton Realty Team Hubbell BriarWood says meeting a broker early is extremely beneficial, especially given today’s fast-paced competitive climate.

“The market is showing no signs of slowing down so buyers need to be trained and ready,” he said. “It is important to discuss the strategy in advance … the maximum amount you would like to spend, how offers should be structured, what conditions you would like to accept, etc. Things move quickly, so you and your REALTOR® need to be up to date same side. “

Get your pre-approval letter

One of the first things your REALTOR® will suggest is that you meet with a local lender to discuss the finances and get pre-approval. If you don’t have a lender in mind, your agent can make referrals.

“We have relationships with lenders with whom we have worked successfully in the past, but remember that the law requires the lender to work for you, not us,” said REALTOR® Shara Grachek of Howard Hanna Real Estate Executives . “This is the biggest purchase you are likely to ever make, so make sure you are working with a lender who will take the time to discuss your options, answer all of your questions, and most importantly, with someone who can help you Keeps an eye on the budget and helps you stay in your financial comfort zone. “

Remember, just because you’ve been approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean you should spend it. Most financial advisors suggest that your mortgage payment should be no more than 25-30% of your monthly income.

Grachek adds that it’s especially important to meet with a lender early on if you have any concerns that could deter you from buying. Low credit, a flaw in your credit history, low down payment, etc. A professional lender can help you with these problems.

“So many people sit on the sidelines believing they can’t afford to buy, but after speaking with a lender they are surprised it can be,” said Grachek. “If for some reason you don’t qualify for a mortgage now, your lender can help you put together a plan to get you there.”

Rethink your “must-haves”

You probably have an idea of ​​what to look for in a home. However, it is important to consider your wants and needs and know that in today’s marketplace you may have to make some compromises.

Start by separating things that are non-negotiable from those that are “nice to have”. The location, a certain number of bedrooms, or a large garden can all be features you won’t want to be without. But maybe you can live without a finished basement or a completely modernized kitchen.

“If you want to shop in this market, you have to be realistic with your expectations,” said Gardner. “After you have discussed the criteria with your REALTOR®, it can set up a search in the MLS with which you will receive new offers as soon as they appear. This gives you a feel for what’s available in your price range and can help you narrow down your “must-have” list. “

Start saving

When buying a home, most people pay attention to the house price and interest rates. While these costs are important, they are not the only expense you will encounter on your road to home ownership. Down payment, closing costs, inspection fee, appraisal fee, cash deposit … some of these costs are prepaid while others can be included in your home loan.

Knowing what you are responsible for is critical to a successful and affordable home purchase. Your REALTOR® and your lender will explain your expenses to you, but don’t wait for this conversation to start saving. Not only do you need some cash available during the transaction, but as a homeowner, you are responsible for things like home improvement, maintenance, and repairs. If you put together a realistic budget and start the savings process now, you will be in a much better position in the long run.

Be ready to act quickly

A well located house in good condition will go quickly. Stay in constant communication with your REALTOR®, and if it calls you about an advertisement, you stay flexible with your schedule. You may have to drop everything you do to take a look at a home. If you wait for a more opportune time, it might be gone.

“Your REALTOR® must also be accessible to you. So when you interview agents, ask how they handle demonstrations, ”Gardner said. “If your agent is not available, does he have a team member who can fill out and show you a property?”

These are just a few ways hopeful buyers can prepare to buy in 2022. But to make sure you have all the information, come back to tip number one: consult the experts.

“The knowledge and experience local REALTORS® have gained over the past two years has been invaluable,” said Grachek. “It’s more important than ever to have a professional by your side. There are critical steps buyers must take and techniques necessary to get offers accepted. To be successful, you work with a trustworthy REALTOR® who will accompany you on this journey. “

For a list of professionals in the area, visit the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® website at www.lansing-realestate.com.

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