The American Dream has long included home ownership. However, with interest rates and home prices at an all-time low, Century 21 M&M Realtors are finding that many potential home buyers are sitting on the sidelines.
In fact, many Americans today are choosing to ‘proceed-with-caution’. The current economic condition is just too unsettling. They are concerned about their job, their savings and their ability to actually get a loan.
What is important to remember is – real estate is cyclical. Overall, people who invest in real estate for the long haul gain about 10% a year.
So if you are thinking about buying a home in 2012, or even 2013, there are some steps you may want to take right now.
Step 1. Go to online and start researching. Decide what your ‘must-haves’ are, and what you can live without. Play with the home affordability calculators, the closing cost estimators, mortgage rate calculators, local school rankings, etc.
Step 2. Open a dialog with a Century 21 M&M Realtor, whether you are planning on buying a home in the next few months, or even a year from now. Buying a home can be fun, but it is a serious and important purchase requiring expert advice and assistance. And, now is the time to get some up-front expert advice regarding the home buying process.
Step 3. Talk with a Mortgage Professional and get Pre-Approved. Find out ahead of getting serious about buying a home what you can afford, and if there are any credit issues that need to be addressed. Now is the time to determine how much cash you are going to need to bring to the table. And, don’t forget – no matter how much cash you’ve saved you are going to need a cash cushion. After closing you will want that extra cash, for move-in costs; repairs, window coverings, maybe even new appliances.
Step 4. Establish a time frame. At this point know how much cash you need and you may need to save for the down payment. Or, you may need to fix your credit score. Whatever the issue, establish and expected time frame, then start working towards that goal.
Step 5. Downsize your stuff. You know you need to get rid of some stuff, so sell it, donate it or give it away. Clearing the mental clutter that physical clutter creates will minimize your anxiety when it is time to move.
Step 6. Sit tight. Don’t make any major changes that will affect your financial future. Don’t quit your job to start a business, at least not yet. Don’t liquidate your retirement fund, or pull a bunch of cash from your savings account without getting the okay from your mortgage professional.
Step 7. When its time, call your Century 21 M&M Realtor and get started in the process of finding the perfect home, in the right neighborhood.
2012 may be the perfect year to buy a home.
Many experts are forecasting that home prices will bottom out this year and mortgage rates are at record lows. So start by getting your finances in order and get ready to achieve the American Dream of home ownership.