Highlands home buyers may not have been watching the Patriots’ squeaker victory in Sunday’s Super Bowl for the purpose of learning something about real estate, but at least one useful piece of wisdom did become evident: the enduring value of minding the fundamentals. Despite the harrowing last 20 seconds, when the power of Seattle seemed sure to win the day, New England had confidence that their team was steeped in the fundamentals. Elaborate plays or complicated strategies didn’t seem important.
In the world of real estate, too, Highlands home buyers also benefit once some basic elements are in place. They aren’t secret or trick plays, either—they’re quite straightforward and well known. But overlooking them makes for a flawed game plan:
- Establish the playing field. We learned from the subprime mortgage mess that it can be a mistake for home buyers to rely on anyone else—even lenders—to determine their ultimate bottom line. The amount home buyers can safely afford is a matter of sitting down and adding up all the monthly expenditures, being sure to include once- or twice-a-year expenses like auto insurance. Once home buyers have determined an affordable monthly mortgage payment, they know their target home’s price range.
- After determining how much house they can safely afford, the next fundamental is to secure pre-financing. Highlands home buyers who have taken the trouble to have a pre-approval in place demonstrate to lenders, sellers, and everyone involved that their game plan is one to be taken seriously. It’s an early step that sets home buyers up for success.
- With those basics in place, it’s just about time to start the all-important search for that next home. All home buyers need now is to put one more fundamental in place by teaming with an experienced Highlands real estate agent. Unearthing the most suitable home is a process that should involve identifying all eligible Highlands properties—and not wasting time on those that don’t measure up. Recruiting a knowledgeable local Realtor® is the most fundamentally sound way to efficiently comb Highlands’s relevant properties (and sometimes even a few that might not yet be listed!).
Most people haven’t had the benefit of real estate training, and yet the quality of the search for their next home will in many ways determine much of their family’s future well-being. I do my best to ensure that my clients benefit from a well-grounded game plan. I hope you’ll give me a call if you are preparing to search for your next home!