Apr 05 2022

House Hunting Tips This Easter

While others are out searching for Easter eggs, will you be on the hunt for a new home? So, let’s look at a few ways to make your Easter time home search easier.

While others are out searching for Easter eggs, will you be on the hunt for a new home? The two hunts aren’t all that unalike, taking you into unfamiliar terrain where what you seek feels hidden from sight. So, let’s look at a few ways to make your Easter time home search easier. 

Things You Should Do While House Hunting 

  • Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage. If you only follow one tip in your hunt for a house, this should be it. Mortgage pre-approval sets serious buyers apart from those who are “just looking.” Many sellers don’t even consider offers from buyers who don’t have the security of likely financing that pre-approval provides. Plus, pre-approval gives you a very good idea of what you can afford, saving you time and frustration in considering homes you can’t. 
     
  • Make a Must-Have List. Do some serious soul-searching here — separate the wants from the needs. Of course, must-haves are as diverse as buyers themselves, but many people consider things like commute time to work, the number of bedrooms, and the size of the kitchen as must-haves. A pool is often a want, while things like a home office or a good school district are often needs. Once you have your list of must-haves, the house hunting will be more focused. 
     
  • Shop and Shop Some More. Even though demand is high, and inventory is low, historically speaking, there are still sure to be lots of homes that fit what you’re looking for. Instead of letting competition force you into making a rash purchase, take the time to consider as many options as you can. Just don’t be leisurely about it.  
     
  • Explore the Neighborhood. Gauging the level of traffic you’ll have is important; this can affect your quality of life. Talk to the neighbors. Check out the zoning laws you’ll be living under. Don’t just consider what the neighborhood is now, but what it may be, as development could considerably change that location. Once you’re serious about a location, you might even consider a mini-vacation and spend a few nights at a hotel there, exploring your would-be neighborhood during the days. 
  • Understand Patience Vs Inaction. This is a tricky one. You want to take the time to consider all the factors before making one of the most important purchases of your life. And you also don’t want hesitation to make you lose out in a fast-moving market. A good real estate agent can help you to know when to pull the trigger on an offer and when to hold back. 
  • Check Out Some Amazing Apps. Why not combine your love of scrolling through content on your phone with your hunt for a home? There are some great apps that make it simple. A few of the top ones include the Zillow app, with its much-touted Zestimate feature, estimating the values of homes with remarkable accuracy. Trulia’s app gets points for its user-friendly maps, showing important data such as crime rate, weather, and traffic, while the Realtor.com app features new listings just about every hour. 
  • Think Long Term. If you’re like many, you picture yourself living in your dream home right now. And that’s great; homes should suit current lifestyles. But where will you be in five, ten, or 20 years? Data from the National Association of Realtors shows that on average people stay in homes for about 13 years, and that in large metropolitan areas that number goes up to 16 years and higher. Is this the home you see your future self in? If there’s a chance your family will grow with children, you should consider looking for a house with more bedrooms and bathrooms than you need right now. As this is a long-term investment, it’s a good idea to investigate whether the homes in the neighborhood have gained or lost value, and by how much. 

Things You Shouldn’t Do While House Hunting 

  • Look Beyond Your Budget. What’s wrong with just taking a few peeks at homes you can’t possibly afford? Just to see what the houses beyond your price range are like. Bad idea. You’re apt to fall in love with something you can’t pay for, then somehow justify that maybe you can afford it, ultimately putting you in a bad financial spot. And if you buy the home that you can afford after dreaming of ones you can’t, you may feel unsatisfied with a home that should otherwise be quite satisfying. 
  • Go it Alone. You may be driving down a street and see an open house sign. Nothing wrong with a solo pop-in, right? Wrong. If you’re serious about buying a house, you should always have enlisted a broker or real estate agent before you do any in-person visits to properties. You don’t want to risk getting into any kind of discussion with the seller’s agent without having an agent of your own. 
      
  • Fall for a Fixer-Upper. Unless that’s what you want. If you understand the time, energy, budget, and skills that are needed for home renovations and repairs, you can judge whether a home that’s in need of work is worth it. Otherwise, avoid houses with major flaws that you’ll have to fix — distinguishing between what you can fix and what you can’t is an essential tool of house-hunting. 
     
  • Succumb to Spring Fever. Much of the motivation behind the surge in home sales we see around Easter is psychological; spring represents change, the cold of winter giving way to warmer weather, bluer skies, and new growth. With greener lawns and flowers in bloom, houses simply look better at this time of the year. And the Easter season could be the best time for you to find a new home. But if not, patience may be your best friend, reminding you summer and fall may also be good times to buy. After all, we are living in a year-round homebuying season. 

 And no matter where your hunt takes you, from loan pre-approval to closing, City Lending is ready with a big basketful of mortgage options guaranteed to meet your lending needs. 

These days, more and more people are looking to buy their dream homes, especially as remote work and work-from-home setups have become an enduring trend. A 15 point increase in requests for home tours and other home-buying services, along with a 11% rise in Google searches for homes, indicate an uptick in demand to buy houses in the country. However, there is a definite worry about affordability when it comes to housing, especially as hefty price tags on available residences have kept the market just as competitive as before, if not more.

According to the latest reports from analysts, it’s not all bad for existing homebuyers and aspiring house hunters. As previous data shows, timing matters in the housing market, and working on different approaches to home buying – like through a reliable lender – can help advance you towards more affordable housing goals. Below, we discuss whether house hunters should buy now or wait, and why.

 

What is your financial situation?


Counter to the rise in home demand, there is a considerable lack of supply. Along with rising prices and interest rates, the housing market may seem like a highly competitive space with wealthy homeowners fighting for what little property is left. It can be overwhelming, but knowing where you stand financially can help you better strategize your home buying journey. Following the four key components of affordability, ask yourself:

  • How much do you have saved for a down payment?

  • How much does your household earn?

  • What debts do you carry?

  • What is your credit score?

 

Familiarizing yourself with these components will help inform your decision on whether or not to wait. For example, taking the time to improve your credit scores before committing can save you from higher interest rates in terms of your monthly mortgage payments. Alternatively, many young homebuyers are compromising by living with family for a significant amount time to save up for a down payment. Getting this out of the way when you’re able to can help you get better loans to buy sooner than later in case interest rates end up increasing.

What kind of home is best for you?

Buying a home is a huge purchase and a big commitment. With shifts to digital and remote ways of working taking place in recent years, this has provided homebuyers with opportunities to be more flexible when buying homes. Homes in areas away from busy cities and urban hubs, for example, are considerably cheaper. This makes them a perfect option for buyers who work from home, or aren’t required to be present in the office on a consistent basis.

The lifestyle you expect to live is as much a factor to consider as money. Condos and townhouses offer lower maintenance costs in the long run, and are perfect for smaller households when compared to single-family homes. If the household grows, homebuyers looking for a side income can even invest in renting out purchased properties to passively earn back what they spent and look into bigger properties for family use.

What does the future look like?


In a previous post, we talked about the rising mortgage and interest rates. While the market may seem bleak or intimidating in its current condition, housing experts also believe factors such as supply have a high chance of returning to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024. If you are financially able, buying now while others may be intimidated by the prices can give you an edge. Conversely, taking some time to get your finances in order can benefit you when it comes to securing better loans and lower interest rates.

Working with experts can help you make better decisions for the loans you need, making sure you don’t get trapped with high interest rates or hidden charges. The future of fintech suggests that big data is the future of loans, as more online lenders are now using algorithms, which predict potential defaults better than FICO scores do. Data is also leveraged precisely to identify customers who fit various products well — which can give you peace of mind, as an aspiring borrower. Here at City Lending for example, we find the right programs to fit your needs and profile, making sure you get some of the lowest down payments and interest rates along with a premium service.

And if you’re still unsure, it’s worth considering that waiting it out in the market’s current wild conditions could result in even higher interest rates in the future. At the end of the day, buying a house is ultimately a huge investment, which comes with benefits such as privacy and a financial investment that for the most part will weather most economic storms.

Find out if this is the right time for you to get a house by contacting one of our loan officers today.

 

Content intended only for the use of citylendinginc.com

Written by Alicia Christopher

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