How can the biggest challenges for home buyers this year be tackled successfully?
All the signs suggest that this will be one of the best years in which to buy a home, or trade up to something larger. There are always obstacles and challenges to be faced and overcome when it comes to buying a home, and if you are buying a property this year, you should expect the following…
Unfortunately many people, especially those Generation X members looking to enjoy home ownership, don’t have enough money saved up to put down as a down payment. The amount required for a down payment is still higher than it has been in the past, despite the fact that there are attractive prices to be found in many areas of the country. Rents tend to rise at about the same rate as house prices, making it difficult for anyone to save up the money they need while they are renting. If you are struggling to find the money to put down, you may be able to take advantage of assistance programs, and one of the loans offered that comes with little or no down payment. These programs are out there and available to those who need them, although many buyers and even realtors simply aren’t aware of them.
Mortgage underwriting is still very difficult to secure, even for those with a steady job and a high income, although the market has seen the introduction of various more aggressive loan programs designed to make things easier. Features include an easier qualification process, 100 percent financing and a lower amount needed as a down payment. Interest rates and house prices may rise, if you decide the strategy is to wait for more relaxed underwriting rules to take effect, and the solution is to take the extra time and effort to find a lender who is more flexible to work with and is more likely to lend you the money you need.
Selling an Old Home
This is the perfect time for downsizing or moving to a larger home, although not all homeowners will be able to get the asking price for their home despite the fact that the US housing market in general is robust and heading in the right direction. The state of the local housing market, competition from other houses, a good pricing strategy and a savvy approach to marketing your home are all needed if you want to succeed and sell your old home. Other factors to consider is whether there is a lot of new construction in your part of the country, or whether there are a large number of foreclosures. If you want to sell your home quickly and get top dollar, you need to have a back up plan.
Getting a Response From Your Realtor
It can be frustrating when so many realtors spend lots of money on promoting themselves, but never seem to respond to an email or return a phone call in a timely manner. Unfortunately, this can be one of the most frustrating parts of the home buying process, and it’s worth taking the time and trouble to find a realtor who will actually communicate with you and seems to really want your business. When you find a good realtor – keep them!
Understanding the Market
It is important to recognize that this is a great time to buy a home, and you should not let the difference between your perceptions and reality, or your misgivings about the real estate market stop you from buying. There are fewer short sales and foreclosures to be had than there once were, although it is still possible to find your dream home at the perfect price. Try not to let media hype stop you from making a common sense decision.
Dealing With Competition
Competition isn’t always a bad thing, although it does mean that most buyers will need to act quickly once they have found the home of their dreams. The level of competition is likely to grow, just as the overall housing market in the US continues to grow. As a buyer, you need to know when to make an offer and when to walk away, and bidding wars can often get out of hand very quickly.