4 Tips to Buying a Home this Season

Ready to put out the welcome mat? We have 4 tips to buying a home, that will set you on the smart path to homeownership.

With the holidays over, some people are gearing up to make their next purchase – a home. The homebuying season is in full swing. Below are four tips you follow to make the best homeownership choice in 2017: strengthen your credit, shop wisely for a mortgage, choose the right house and negotiate the best price.

  1. Strengthen your credit score before looking for a mortgage. The majority of people don’t know their credit score until they begin to look for a home or a mortgage. Since finding the right house takes an average of one to three months, it could pay off to use the time to strengthen your credit score, especially if it means getting a lower mortgage rate. The benefit varies from lender to lender, but a strong credit score can cut as much as half a percent from your rate.A housing counselor from The HomeOwnership Center can provide guidance on what to do to boost your credit score while shopping for a home.
  1. Shop around for the best mortgage. Not every lender offers the same mortgage rate, so shopping around is essential. Yet, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, nearly half of people who apply for a mortgage don’t shop around. The price of failing to do so can be quite significant after several years.As important as it is to obtain the best mortgage rate, it’s also crucial to be aware of fees charged by mortgage lenders. These fees go by various names—another reason to work closely with a housing counselor from The HomeOwnership Center throughout the process.
  1. Choose your house carefully. With a mortgage-approval letter in hand, it’s time to find your home. A market with low housing supply requires a buyer to look for a “diamond in the rough”—a not-so-perfect house that could be rehabbed to make it suitable. That doesn’t you should settle for a house that doesn’t meet your basic needs. Keep your list of must-haves front and center, but make sure they are not really “nice-to-haves.” Many housing counseling organizations like The HomeOwnership Center can provide a starter list of real estate agents from whom to choose.
  1. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. If real estate is location, location, location, then homebuying is negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Unless you’re buying in the most heated and competitive markets, there is always room for negotiation. Here’s where selecting the right real estate agent pays off. Whether it’s the price of the house—probably the most important item to negotiate—the portion of closing costs to be paid or whether a warranty for major appliances is included, presenting the seller with a list of requests is important. Remember, the seller wants to sell and you want to buy. Home purchases that are mutually beneficial are made in the middle.

Following these tips and working with the team at The HomeOwnership Center will help you successfully find your “home sweet home.”

* Article provided by NeighborWorks America.

11 replies
  1. Jason Hopkins
    Jason Hopkins says:

    We all dream of buying a home and therefore, we need to take some beneficial steps and arrange funds to fulfill our dream. We need to face some legal procedure and arrange good funds to buy a new home, apart from these we should also take some legal and professional help from different home buying companies. But while following these valuable tips from this article, we can get some essential instructions on how to buy a home in a right way. Thanks for such a wonderful article with useful information.

  2. Taylor Hicken
    Taylor Hicken says:

    I agree, it definitely is time for me to find a home. I’ve been searching for a home for the past two months. My husband was suggesting that we should stop looking, but I won’t give up that easy. I’m just hoping that we’ll be able to find a home by the beginning of summer.

  3. Tyler Meredith
    Tyler Meredith says:

    I really like your recommendation to negotiate all that you can. It makes sense that buying property or a home can be a very expensive endeavor so negotiating could really help. It’s something to remember because even small incremental changes to the prices could be a good way to get your foot in the door. Thanks for the post!

  4. Troy Blackburn
    Troy Blackburn says:

    I love what you said about how, unless you’re in a very heated market, there will always be room for you to negotiate a little bit with the seller. I’ve heard, too, that it’s so important to have a real estate agent to help you in the negotiation process because they know exactly how to do it. I’ll be sure to remember these great points as my wife and I get ready to begin the home searching process and buy one for our growing family.

  5. Bradford Snelson
    Bradford Snelson says:

    Thanks for pointing out that not every lender offers the same mortgage rate. I feel like with something as large as a home loan the savings to you with even a fraction lower interest rate would be significant. Getting pre-approved would probably do a lot to help speed up the process, so I imagine that prioritizing this step would be important.

  6. John
    John says:

    I really liked the suggestion at the end of the article to negotiate when getting a home. My wife and I have been looking at some homes for sale, but I feel like some of them are overpriced. Neither of us have any experience when it comes to negotiating a home, so would you suggest we consult with a real estate agent for our negotiating needs?

  7. Bernard Clyde
    Bernard Clyde says:

    I agree that you should start looking for a home or property once you have a mortgage-approval letter. I think it helps to know what your financial limitations are before you start getting expectations for your new home. Plus, there are so many homes to choose from that it helps to narrow down the choices and help you make better use of your time when home searching.

  8. Olivia Nelson
    Olivia Nelson says:

    I agree that you would want to make sure your credit score is good before you get a mortgage. It would seem that in the time leading up to it you would want to do everything possible to strengthen your score. I’m looking for a mortgage to help me buy a home so I’ll have to make sure my credit score is good first.

  9. Rachel Lannister
    Rachel Lannister says:

    You mentioned that a big part of getting a home is negotiation. I’m not particularly great at negotiation, as I’m a bit of a passive individual. Perhaps if I found a good real estate agent that could both identify a nice home for me, and try and get a great deal for me, that would be the best scenario for me. Thanks for the great read.

  10. Burt Silver
    Burt Silver says:

    Thanks for the real estate tips! My wife and I really want to buy our first home this year. We are pretty unfamiliar with the process though. Thanks for mentioning to negotiate all you can. I guess that is one reason that it is really helpful to have a great real estate agent, because they will be great negotiators. We will keep that in mind!


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