In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.
Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.
Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:
“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”
The current narrative is that home prices have risen so much so that it is no longer a smart idea to purchase a home. Your family and friends might suggest that buying a home right now (whether a first-time home or a move-up home) makes absolutely no sense from an affordability standpoint. They are wrong!
Homes are more affordable right now than at almost any time in our country’s history except for the foreclosure years (2009-2015) when homes sold at major discounts. As an example, below is a graph from the latest Black Knight Mortgage Monitor showing the percentage of median income needed to buy a medium-priced home in the country today in comparison to prior to the housing bubble and bust.
As we can see, the percentage necessary is less now than in those time periods.
The Mortgage Monitor also explains that home affordability is better today than it was in the late 1990s in 47 of 50 states. ...
Every year at this time, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to put their homes on the market for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays. Here are seven great reasons not to wait: 1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their employees in their new positions as soon as possible. 2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now. 3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control. 4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays. 5. There is less competition for you as a seller right now. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:
The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream home ...
Knowing your credit score or getting a recent copy of your credit report is one of the first steps that you can take toward knowing how ready you are to start the home buying process. Make sure all the information listed on your report is accurate and work to correct any mistakes. The higher your credit score, the more likely you will be to receive a better interest rate for your mortgage, which will translate into more ‘home for your money.' Many potential buyers believe that they need a 750 FICO® Score or higher to be able to purchase a home. The truth is that according to Ellie Mae’s Origination Report, over 53% of loans were approved with a FICO® score under 750 last month! Here are some tips for improving your credit score:
Make payments, including rent, credit cards, and car loans, on time. Keep your spending to no more than 30% of your limit on credit cards. Pay down high-balance credit cards to lower balances, and consider balance trans ...