Joyce Cucchiara's Blog
As a homebuyer, you'll want to do everything possible to guarantee a quick, seamless homebuying journey. Because if you're not careful, you may be forced to deal with a nightmare homebuying experience.
Ultimately, there are many ways to ensure that you can avoid a nightmare homebuying experience, such as:
1. Narrow Your Home Search
Although you know that you want to buy a home, it pays to consider exactly what you'd like to find in your ideal residence. By doing so, you can narrow your home search and avoid the homebuying nightmare of pursuing residences that fail to meet your expectations.
Think about which features are must-haves for your new home, as well as which features you can afford to live without.
For example, if you require a home that is close to your office, you can search for houses near your workplace. On the other hand, if you want to live in a small town, you can remove city residences from your home search.
Establish priorities as you search for your dream house – you'll be glad you did. If you separate your home must-haves from your wants, you can simplify your home search and move one step closer to finding your ideal residence.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
How much can you afford to spend on a house? Create a homebuying budget, and you can avoid the risk of browsing available residences that fall outside your price range.
To determine how much money you have available for a home purchase, it often helps to meet with local banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can provide details about a variety of mortgage options and help you select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.
Also, you should check your credit report before you buy a home. You are entitled to a free annual copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Take advantage of this perk, and you can learn your credit score and take steps to improve it prior to purchasing a house.
3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent
An experienced real estate agent understands both the homebuyer's and home seller's perspectives. As such, this housing market professional can help you analyze a home seller's point of view and negotiate the best price on any home, at any time.
Typically, an experienced real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. This housing market professional then will map out a homebuying journey, one that helps you streamline the process of acquiring your ideal house.
Let's not forget about the assistance that an experienced real estate agent can deliver throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can provide expert insights into the housing market and help you make informed decisions, thereby reducing the risk of a nightmare homebuying experience.
Take the guesswork out of buying a home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can minimize the risk of a nightmare homebuying experience.
There comes a time when family members must confront the realities of aging. It’s not uncommon for our parents and grandparents to still be living in properties that once housed multiple family members. The upkeep required for such residencies can place an undue burden on our elders, and downsizing remains a logical solution. That brings us to what everyday people need to know about how to help loved ones relocate, so they can enjoy their golden years to the fullest.
Have A Family Conversation About Moving
It’s not uncommon for well-meaning people to get frustrated when elders resist the notion of change. However, the sometimes difficult conversation about a valued elder’s diminishing ability to maintain a household must be approached with compassion and express the underlying loving intentions.
Keep in mind that they may have deep emotional connections to family homes, and you may be part of those feelings. From a parent or grandparent's perspective, leaving that place involves no longer living in a space where children took their first steps and other milestones. These connections are genuine, and it’s essential to bridge the conversation with facts, as well as feelings. These are items to discuss with great sensitivity.
- Downsizing Provides A Manageable Space
- Moving Could Bring Family Members Closer Together
- The Process Is About Returning The Care You Received
It’s crucial to listen attentively to the emotional and fact-based issues that your elders bring up. Finding adequate resolutions can go a long way to laying the groundwork for a smooth transition.
Put Together A Moving Day Plan
Because the move is likely to include downsizing, creating a plan about what happens to items that will not make the trip remains a vital first step. Your loved one may have sentimental attachments to bulky furniture and a garage filled with boxed memories. Finding a suitable home for items that are not sellable or discardable is a must. Talking to your elder family members about passing on important heirlooms and keepsakes can yield a positive result. Other items might be good candidates for a self-storage unit.Tips
Sort And Organize
Securing items in labeled boxes that designate a particular room generally improves moving logistics. This process often requires more time and energy than the actual move and unpacking. Gathering friends and relatives to work through this labor-intensive aspect can streamline the time and make it more enjoyable for all. It’s sort of like a mini family gathering and worth a potluck meal or ordering pizza.
Moving Day Matters
Having appropriate-sized moving vehicles and enough strong backs are absolutely necessary. Successful moves often enlist a few extra friends to account for no-shows and the possibility of underestimating the amount of labor needed. Pack the vehicles with diligent care to minimize breaks and damage.
Efficient unloading entails placing each labeled box in its respective room for unpacking. It may be worthwhile to select a few team members to immediately begin unpacking necessities and setting up essentials such as a bed, table, chairs, and other items needed for prompt livability.
Making the moving experience a joyous event for your loved ones sets a tone that they are gaining an improved quality of life experience. It’s all about love and good logistics.
If you want to purchase your dream house at a great price, you should monitor the real estate sector closely. That way, you can identify housing market patterns and trends and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you track the housing market so you can speed up your home search.
1. Analyze the Prices of Recently Sold Houses
Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your preferred cities and towns. Then, you can use this housing market data to understand the average price range for houses in areas where you want to live.
As you review the prices of recently sold houses, you may want to narrow your homebuying criteria as well. With homebuying criteria in hand, you'll be better equipped than other buyers to seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.
2. Find Out How Quickly Houses Are Selling
Differentiating a buyer's market from a seller's market is key, particularly for a buyer who wants to achieve the best-possible results. If you find out how quickly residences are selling in your preferred cities and towns, you can distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's one.
In a buyer's market, there is an abundance of sellers and a shortage of buyers. This means buyers will find lots of outstanding houses at their disposal.
Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of buyers and a shortage of sellers. If you're a buyer operating in a seller's market, you likely will need to bid competitively to acquire your ideal residence.
Once you determine whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead for the property buying journey as much as possible. If you know exactly what you want to find in your dream house and where you want to live, you can quickly and effortlessly discover your ideal residence in any housing market, at any time.
3. Assess Houses That Fall Within Your Price Range
Many houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, but it is important to determine exactly how much you can spend on a residence prior to entering the real estate market. If you establish a homebuying budget, you can review the prices of houses that fall within your price range. Perhaps most important, you can avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire your ideal house.
As you kick off a home search, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent too. A real estate agent is happy to help you pursue houses in your preferred cities and towns and find one that matches your expectations. Plus, a real estate agent will help you submit an offer to purchase your dream home that hits the mark with a seller.
Ready to conduct a home search? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can perform an extensive analysis of the real estate market and boost the likelihood of a successful property buying experience.
If you plan to purchase a house in the foreseeable future, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead for all of your potential homebuying costs. That way, you can secure the funds you need to purchase your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three costs that every homebuyer needs to consider during the property buying journey.
1. Credit Report
A lender likely will request a verified credit report before it provides you with a mortgage. The fee for a credit report usually is minimal, but it is important to note that this fee adds to the overall cost of purchasing a house.
Oftentimes, a homebuyer can get pre-approved for a mortgage and pay a credit report fee prior to conducting a house search. On the other hand, if a buyer wants to secure financing from a lender after he or she discovers the perfect house, the cost of a credit report may be incorporated into this individual's home closing costs.
2. Home Inspection
A property inspection is crucial, as it ensures a property expert can analyze a house and identify any underlying problems with it before a buyer finalizes his or her home purchase. As such, it is paramount to account for home inspection fees to ensure you have the funds available to hire an inspector who can perform an in-depth evaluation of a house.
The cost of a home inspection varies based on the size of a residence. Meanwhile, there is no need to forgo this evaluation. Because if you ignore a home inspection, you risk encountering costly, time-intensive problems after you buy a residence.
3. Pest or Mold Inspection
A pest or mold inspection is not a requirement if you purchase a new house. Conversely, if you purchase an older residence, it typically is beneficial to inspect it for pests and mold prior to finalizing your house purchase.
Pest or mold inspection costs vary based on a home's size and location. And if you feel a home may be susceptible to pests or mold, you should pay the necessary fees to conduct a pest or mold inspection. Otherwise, you could encounter home pests or mold that may cause major problems down the line.
As you prepare to pursue your dream residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive guidance as you navigate the homebuying journey.
In addition to teaching you about homebuying costs, a real estate agent is happy to educate you about all aspects of the housing market. Plus, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying queries and help you make informed decisions as you search for your ideal residence.
When it comes to purchasing a house, it helps to budget accordingly. If you consider the aforementioned homebuying costs, you can craft a homebuying budget and speed up your quest to discover your dream house.
Do you ever wish that they taught a class in high school called, “Things You’ll Actually Need to Know In Life?” You’d learn how to prepare your taxes, what investing is, and how to buy a home.
Unfortunately, all of these important life lessons tend to be self-taught; you pick them up along the way and learn from your mistakes.
However, it needn’t be that way. Our goal today is to give you an accurate idea of what to expect when you’re buying your first home. We’ll go over a typically home buying timeline and discuss how long each step can take. This will give you a better idea of how long it will take to close on your first home.
Step 1: Build credit and save for a down payment
Estimated time: 2+ years
The first step of buying a home is to make sure you’re financially secure enough to do so. While there are ways to purchase a home with low or no down payments (See FHA, USDA, and VA loans), generally it’s wiser to wait until you have a sizable down payment saved. This will save you money in interest and mortgage insurance in the long run.
Next, you’ll need to start working on your credit. If your credit score took some hits due to late payments when you were younger, now is the time to start fixing those mistakes by making on-time payments and paying off outstanding balances.
Step 2: Have a plan for the next phase of your life
Estimated time 6+ months
One of the most important, and least talked about, parts of buying a home is understanding what it means to own a home. If you have a spouse, partner, or family, you’ll need to be in agreement that you’re prepared to stay in one place for the next 5 or more years.
Buying a home is expensive and you won’t want to go through the process of closing on a home if you aren’t sure you’ll stay. This means making sure your career won’t bring you elsewhere in the near future.
Step 3: Get prequalified and preapproved
Estimated time 1-3 days (depending on how much initiative you take)
Getting prequalified for a mortgage takes minutes. You simply fill out an online form and the lender will give you an idea of the type and size loan you could qualify for. Be forewarned: they’ll also use this information to call and bother you about getting a mortgage from them.
Once you’re prequalified, it’s just a matter of working with the lender to provide the correct documentation for pre-approval.
Getting preapproved takes a bit longer (1-3 days), since it requires a credit check and some work on your part--namely, gathering and sending income verification.
Once you’re preapproved, you can safely start shopping for homes without worrying that you’re wasting time looking at homes that are overbudget.
Step 4: House Hunting
Estimated time: 30+ days
It’s a seller’s market. So, if you’re buying a home right now there is competition out there. You’ll need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to researching homes online, contacting sellers’ agents, and following up on calls. Like before, the amount of effort you put into this process determines how quickly and smoothly you’ll get through it.
Step 5: Making an offer and closing
Estimated time: ~50 days
Average closing times for buying a home has grown to 50 days according to a recent study. However, by securing financing ahead of time and acting quickly, you can drastically cut down the time of these process to as little as two weeks.