Buying a home is an exciting and challenging project. One thing that can help you make the right choice is to do your research beforehand and to make sure you have enough information. Realtors can be a very good source of advice and information about the house, market conditions, local communities, and more. As well as finding the right house, you should be sure that this is the right time for you to buy a house.
Making an informed decision
Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime. To make the right choice, you have to be sure you have enough information about the house, local communities, mortgages, home valuation and other related matters. The whole process becomes much easier if you have a local realtor on your team. Nearly all, or 98% of home buyers who used a real estate agent when buying their house felt that the agent was a useful source of information.
What’s the best way to find a reliable licensed real estate agent? It’s always a good idea to make a few calls and set up some consultations to find someone you can trust. You may be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to find a real estate agent is by way of a referral from a family member or friend. Among the many things you’ll want to ask the agent is what is the best time to buy a house.
Choosing the right time
Besides looking at the neighborhood, schools, local communities etc., there are some things you have to consider about the timing of your decision to buy a house. Your personal finances, the state of the market, and even the time of year can make a difference to the choices available, as well as the amount of your payment.
- Your finances
If you’re thinking of buying a house, it’s a good idea to begin preparing early and to get your finances in order. Most home loan lenders will want a down payment which could be between 5% to 20% of the total value of the home. There are some down payment assistance programs that help qualified home buyers, and you should check out if you qualify.
Most realtors have payment calculators on their websites that let you figure out the amount of your down payment, the term of the loan, the monthly payments, as well as taxes on the property. When you’re looking for a favorable mortgage at a lower rate of interest, it helps to have a good credit score as well.
- Market conditions
House prices can vary appreciably with market conditions, so it helps to know the state of the housing market. A slow market, where listings have been sitting on the market for over six months, is a good indication that prices will be lower. On the other hand, if houses are being sold after being listed for just weeks, competition among buyers could drive up prices.
Interest rates are likewise difficult to predict but they are important because they will determine the amount of your monthly payment. It’s a good idea to follow the trends on interest rates for a while if you’re planning to buy a house.
- Time of year
The convention wisdom is that there is much more choice available in homes for sale during the spring and summer, which are considered the peak seasons for home buying and selling. However, that also means you have more buyers to compete against, and that will drive prices higher. Off season home buying actually has some advantages. Home sellers may be more motivated in the off season, in the fall and winter, and more willing to negotiate prices and terms like the closing date.
Planning and preparation ahead of time can help you make the right choices when buying a house. A realtor can guide and advise you along every step of the way, from prices to local communities to interest rates.