If you put off looking for a home at any point in the last two years, you might want to start looking again now that the market has changed. New information shows that the number of homes for sale is going up, giving buyers like you more choices.
But it’s important to remember that even though the number of homes for sale is getting better, it’s still a sellers’ market. And that means you need to be ready before you start looking for a home. Here are three tips that will help you buy the home of your dreams right now.
1. Be aware of how mortgage rates affect your ability to buy a home.
This year, mortgage rates have gone up a lot, and in the past few weeks, they have been changing a lot. When you’re thinking about buying a home, it’s important to know what’s going on with rates and how they affect your ability to buy things. Use the chart below.
Let’s say you can pay between $2,100 and $2,200 per month on your mortgage. On the chart, green means that the payment is in that range or less, and red means that it is more than that range.
As the chart shows, even a small change in mortgage rates can have a big effect on your monthly payments. If rates go up, you might go over budget if you don’t try to get a lower home loan amount. If rates go down, you may be able to buy more, which could give you more options in your search.
2. During your search, be willing to try out different things.
The number of homes for sale is getting better, which means you can choose from more homes. But the supply has been low in the past. That means that when you look for a home, if you don’t find one that fits your needs, you might want to look in more places.
A recent article in the Washington Post talks about some things buyers should think about now. It encourages you to be open to more things. For example, if you’ve already ruled out a place (like a certain town), it might be worth taking another look.
And if you can, expanding your search to include other types of housing, like newly built homes, condos, or townhomes, can give you even more options. Even though there are more homes on the market today, you might find a hidden gem if you search in different ways.
3. Work with a real estate agent in your area for expert advice.
In the end, when you set out to buy a home, you need to be ready. Jeff Ostrowski, who works for Bankrate as a Senior Mortgage Reporter, explains:
“Buying a home can give you a sense of pride and improve your long-term finances if you do it well-prepared and with your eyes open.”
No matter where you are in the process of becoming a homeowner, working with a real estate professional is the best way to make sure you’re set up for success. If you are just starting your search, a real estate agent can help you learn about the market in your area and look for homes that are for sale. And when it’s time to make an offer, they’ll be an expert advisor and negotiator who will help yours stand out from the rest.
Finding the home of your dreams may come down to how well you plan your search, how wide you cast your net, and how well you put together a team of experts. Partner with a local real estate advisor to make sure you get expert advice at every step.