Searching for a new home is not rocket science but there are a few things new homebuyers may not know. Over the years we’ve provided many useful tips to assist in the home search and purchase process. Below are 7 buyer basics to help jump start your search for a new home in the Oklahoma City Metro Area.
Get pre-approved for your home loan – It’s important to know what you have to spend before you start looking at the homes you are going to spend it on. A pre-approval letter means you’ve already had a professional look at your financials so there won’t be any hidden surprises. There’s nothing worse then beginning your home search without a budget. Inevitably you’ll fall in love with a home that could end up out of the price range.
Don’t move around your money – If you plan on purchasing a home, it’s not wise to make large purchases with in the 6-month time frame leading up to your home purchase. This can affect your credit profile, and your debt to income ratio. It’s best to begin your search with as little credit activity as possible.
Don’t try to time the market – If there is anything we’ve learned in the last several years it’s that there is no right time to buy. You can sit on the fence and miss the home of your dreams if you keep trying to balance low pricing and low mortgage rates. The right time to buy is not a combination of economic factors. The right time to buy a new home happens when you find that home that speaks to you. If you wait for the perfect time, you are likely to miss out on the perfect home.
The big McMansion isn’t better – Gone are the days when homeowners strive to have the largest house on the block. Energy efficiency and smarter space saving designs have become much more important both for livability and for your budget. In fact it’s never been advantageous to own the biggest house on the block. If you have the biggest house you help the property values of the smaller houses around you, but it does not work the other way around.
Get the lay of the land – When buying a home it’s not just about the house itself, but also the neighborhood you will live in. A great way to get a feel for the area is to stalk the neighborhood. Driving around at different times of day will give you different perspectives. If you happen to see a neighbor outside, one of the best ways to get a feel for the place is to get out and talk with them especially in new home communities.
Learn about the practical stuff – While you are stalking the neighborhood make sure you check out important information like school system ratings, nearby shopping, grocery stores and other convenience shopping that is a regular part of your routine.
Check out the commute – if you are moving any kind of distance from your job, it’s important to get a feel for the primary commuter routes, and also the alternatives when you hit congestion. After all you want to live in your house, not on the road getting from work to home.
These 7 tips will help you get started on your home search and target your efforts.