Mortgage rates are on an upward trajectory, with significantly higher interest than they were just a year ago. And if you're considering buying a home, this might be on the top of your mind right now. This is because the cost of borrowing money for your home loan is impacted by these higher rates. You'll need to be methodical when you search for a home this winter so you can discover one that suits your needs and budget.
As Chief Economist Danielle Hale explains: “The key to making a good decision in this challenging housing market is to be laser-focused on what you need now and in the years ahead... Another key point is to avoid stretching your budget, as tempting as it may be given the diminished purchasing power.”
In other words, when looking for a home, it's crucial to consider what features are essential and which are only good to have. Making a list of desired qualities for your home search is the easiest way to comprehend this.
What came first? Get a mortgage pre-approval. Pre-approval gives you a good idea of how much money you can get for a home loan, and it has a big impact on how you'll make your list. You don't want to fall in love with a house that is out of your price range, after all. You may start making a list of (and prioritizing) all the amenities of a home you want once you have a firm understanding of your budget.
Here's a fantastic method to consider them before you start:
Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
Nice-To-Haves – These are features that you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-To-Haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these, it’s a contender (examples: a second home office, a garage, etc.).
Dream State – This is where you can really think big. Again, these don’t feature you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner (examples: farmhouse sink, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).
After you've made your list and organized it in a way that suits you, talk to your real estate expert about it. They may assist you in furthering the refinement of the list, offer advice on how to best stay to it, and find a house in your preferred neighborhood that satisfies your needs and desires.
Though it may seem like a simple chore, creating your list of essential characteristics for your next house is an important first step in the home-buying process today. Get in touch with Laura Larson right away if you're prepared to find a house that meets your needs.