5 Ways to Prepare for Buying Your Bargain Dream House
By Shelley Weinreb
More and more, we’re hearing reports that the housing market is making a comeback. Ask any realtor and they’ll tell you that people are starting to buy again. And with good reason–prices are still very low and there are plenty of quality, bargain properties on the market. So could this be the perfect time to shop for your dream home?
If you’re thinking of buying a new home, here are five smart insider tips you can start doing now to maximize your success:
- Get your credit in shape. Nothing kills a good deal like bad credit. The last thing you want is to lose out on a fantastic home because of “issues” with your credit. Now is the time to examine and correct any errors or negative items before they sabotage your chances.
- Study, research, inquire. Thanks to the Internet, information on just about any real estate topic known to man is available in seconds. Want to know about housing prices, tax rates, schools, shopping and even the lifestyle of a particular neighborhood? It’s all searchable online. Websites like www.trulia.com and www.nabewise.com provide insight into many aspects of a neighborhood’s character.
- Attend CHAI’s Smart Homebuyer’s Workshop. Every month, CHAI offers its three-hour homebuyer’s workshop packed with no-strings-attached information and advice for first time and seasoned homebuyers alike. Want to know which credit report website to trust (that’s not trying to sell you something)? How to get homebuyer grants, awards and interest-free loans? What to know what to look out for to avoid common and costly mistakes? CHAI is your source for unbiased, great information to help you find and afford a home.
- Stash your cash. Stow away as much as you can for your down payment and closing costs. Even if you think you’ve saved enough, tighten your belt and pile up a few extra pennies. That cash cushion will come in very handy for repairs and those inevitable expenses that pop up once you move into your new home.
- Get rid of what you don’t need. Lighten your load. Sell, donate, give away what you’ve been holding onto but don’t use. You’ll have less to move and more space to live in. Plus it’ll feel great to start off in your new home with less clutter.
Perhaps the best advice for the hopeful homebuyer is … patience. Your dream home is out there. Don’t grab the first thing that comes along if it’s not what you really want. It’s still very much a buyer’s market. Also, now’s not the time to make any major financial changes like starting a new business or buying a new car. Hold off on big purchases until after you’re in your new home.
For more information on how CHAI can help make your dream of owning a home come true in northwest Baltimore City, call 410-500-5309.