Let’s start the new year off right. If you’ve been dreaming of a new home, it’s time to get started. Here’s a month-by-month guide to planning for and buying a new home. It’s about time to set your new year’s resolution, right?
January: Brush Up on Your Market Knowledge
The best way to get started? Brush up on your real estate knowledge. Scour the market with a fine-tooth comb. Check out things like current inventory in your city, average sales prices, and the listing-to-sales-price ratio.
This research will help you familiarize yourself with the market.
February: Address Your Budget
Let’s finalize our budget shall we? The easiest way to do this is to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Meet with a lender (let us know if you’d like a recommendation) to review your finances. The lender will go over your financial history, and then let you know what the bank is willing to lend you.
Now you have an idea of what your mortgage will be and what you can afford in a home.
March: Find Your Perfect Location
Do some soul searching. Where will you be happiest? Explore locations based on their job market, housing affordability, and overall quality of life. The goal is to narrow down your search to one city.
If you have the means, try to take some time off to go and visit a few cities. Once you find a city, it’s time to narrow your search down even further by pinpointing specific areas or neighborhoods that will best meet your needs.
April: Find the Right Agent
Find the right real estate agent to help you buy a home. Trust us: they’ll save you time, money, and more than a few headaches.
If you need any recommendations, let us know. We have more than a few ideas.
May: Define Your Dream Home
Now is the fun part! Start putting together a list of everything you want in your dream home. We recommend starting by defining your “must-have” features. Think of the things in your home you can’t live without. That’s a great place to start.
It’s also important to know the difference between “must-have” (i.e. you need 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms) and “nice-to-haves” (it would be nice to have granite countertops but you can also live without them.)
June-July: Begin Searching
Use a handy home search tool like ours to begin browsing homes for sale in your target area. Once you find a home that you like, it’s time to schedule a tour.
Private home tours are often better than traditional open houses because you have more time to walk through the home, without the pressure of competing with other potential buyers.
At some point in your home-search journey, you’re likely to come across at least one home that calls your name.
August: Fall in Love and Make an Offer
Work closely with your agent to compare recently sold homes in the area and craft the perfect offer.
Ask your agent for their advice—like whether or not they think the price is right for this home, as well as what other contingencies you might want to include in your offer. This is when your real estate agent will prove truly valuable: they’ll be able to provide useful insight in order to help you get the home of your dreams for the best possible price.
September: Schedule All the Things
Let’s get down to business. It’s time to negotiate with the seller, schedule an inspection, have your real estate agent complete any renegotiations (based on that inspection), and get the home appraised by a professional.
You’ll also have to take care of some more paperwork to finalize your mortgage loan.
October – December: Let’s Start Closing
Buckle up, because we’re in it for the long haul! Here’s where you’ll finalize your mortgage approval (this requires a ton of paperwork) and meet with an attorney to set closing dates and sign paperwork prior to closing. This is also the time when you’ll review closing fees and the exact monthly costs for your home.
At the end of it all comes the close. You’ll pay the remaining closing fees, sign all the paperwork, and collect your keys Congratulations! You just bought a home.
Ready to Begin?
We’re ready to help. Give us a call today to get started.