It is happening. You are throwing your hat into the ring and buying a house. Before you go all in, there are several things to consider in order to make sure you get the house that you want. Here are five things to consider when buying a house in 2014.
1) Get pre approved
You might have heard this one already, but it is a must. Before you start your house hunting, get pre approved for a mortgage loan. This will save you the grief of looking at houses that you can’t afford. Pre approval will also put you in a better position when you are ready to make that serious offer. Don’t forget to do your homework. School yourself on junk fees, processing fees or points and make sure there aren’t any hidden costs in the loan. One more side note: pre-approval from a lender is based on actual income, debt and credit history whereas pre-qualification is simply a cursory review of finances.
2) There are ways to buy if you foreclosed
Not so long ago, America fell off the financial cliff and with that, our nation experienced record levels of foreclosures. Those that have gone through the process have been told that it will be a solid 7 years before they will be able to buy again. This might not be necessarily true for some. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA say that they actually only require a three year waiting period if you can prove that your bankruptcy was caused by extenuating circumstances. There are also several nonconforming lenders ourt there (often called “shadow bankers”) that will lend to you if you are willing and able to pay a large down payment and above-market interest rates. Finally, you might want to considered a lease-purchase option where you would pay your landlord a monthly premium over your rent to buy at a set price later.
3) Negotiate like a Jedi!
Think twice before putting in a low ball offer as the time of the low ball offers has passed us by. If a counteroffer comes your way, respond quickly. Expediency helps avoid offers from other buyers from entering the situation and henceforth, bidding wars. And, if the market allows, have a few homes in mind so you can be willing to move on if the price of the home moves quickly out of your comfort zone.
4) Don’t Try to Time the Market
Don’t try to anticipate the housing market as it is an (almost) impossible endeavor. Instead, know that they your best time to buy is when you find your perfect house at a price that you can afford. Bare in mind, real estate is cyclical. Up and down, up and down.
5) Know when you are making a decision based on emotion
Buying a house is a huge deal and often times emotions get wrapped up in the decision making process that we forget about the big picture. Letting your emotions get the best of you in the house buying process often leads to bad financial decisions and might lead you to bypassing the right house. Be mindful and focus in on your instincts. Your instincts will tell you when you are getting a good value for a house. Your emotions won’t notice value because they are too busy focusing on outdated fixtures in the bathroom. Stay grounded as this is one of the largest purchases you will ever make.
Now get out there and buy yourself a house! If you want to see what if available now, click here for an up to date home search.
And if you happen to be looking for one in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago, give me a call! Anne Kaplan 847-401-7904 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve been in the real estate business for 30 years and will be there with you every step of the way.