Buying a home – it’s exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. It always is, but 99.9% of the time, it’s an amazing thing. It just takes a little balancing in the months, weeks, and days before closing. Right now, however, it can be a bit more stressful compared to a lot of other times in the year. Why? Because we are in a very crazy housing market that is exploding. The good news? It does seem like it’s starting to slow down. The bad news? Large corporations are still buying homes above asking price, in cash, and then turning them into rentals. This increases pricing and makes it hard for the average home buyer to compete. If you still want to buy a home, it is completely possible, and that is what this post is about: the ins and outs of buying a house right now, and how you can make it work for yourself. Let’s dive in.
Know your budget
Before you buy a home, you need to know your budget. Since this housing market is really competitive, you can actually do the underwriting process ahead of time, to make closing easier and much faster, as well. This is a huge incentive for home sellers because they know that your home offer is much less likely to fall through during the closing process, which is always a great thing. When you get pre-approved, or pre-underwritten (is that a word?!), you will obviously know how much you can afford, which is really important. You don’t want to be shopping for homes that are much too expensive for you, or else you will risk getting your hopes up. Knowing your budget is insanely important when shopping for a new home, no matter if it is a home purchase, or if you are just renting.
Shop at a lower price
Once you know your budget, you will want to shop at a lower price. This is for two reasons. 1) you don’t want to become house poor. If you are spending a good majority of your paycheck on your mortgage or your rent, how are you going to afford home improvements? Fixes? What about other things like vacations, food, etc. etc. There are so many things to factor in when you own a home and things happen – your home won’t be perfect. It’s important to go into the home purchase knowing that, and to be able to easily afford any needed repairs, without the stress. The second reason for shopping lower right now is because homes are going for above asking price. If you see a home for 640,000, you can expect it to go for at least 645,000, if it is in good shape. The average increase (above asking) is 10,000, but I’ve seen homes for for 50,000+ above asking price. You will want to be able to go over asking, if needed, so shop lower so that you can make your offer more competitive.
Think about what you can change
When home shopping, things might not be 100% perfect with your new potential home and that’s okay! While there are some things that you cannot change (and you need to think about this!), there are definite things that can be changed. If you don’t love something about a home, think about if you can change it and how much it would be. You don’t want to nix a home that you love just because it needs a few fixes.
Get a great inspection
Next up: you absolutely cannot go without a good inspection. In this market, a lot of sellers are not doing repairs, so you will either be buying this house as-is, or you will be doing most of the repairs yourself. You definitely want to know what repairs you absolutely need to do! For example, my friend had her inspection done and found out that her randon levels came back 4x higher than they should be. She was so glad that she had her inspection done!
Hire a moving company
Buying a home and moving is stressful as-is. Don’t make it harder on yourself! To save yourself time and effort (and lots of stress!), hire a moving company! There are so many different companies out there that can help, buy you will want to choose one that is very knowledgeable about your area. For example, if you are moving from NJ to NY, you might want to consider Bluebell Relocation Services because they are pros when it comes to moving in New Jersey and New York. Hiring a moving company like Bluebell will save you so much time and effort! Trust me.