It’s common knowledge that the most popular time to buy a house is during the spring market, which can kick off as early as February in the Houston area. To snag your dream home, think about being an early bird in the home-buying process. Here’s a guide to help you kick things off:
Sort Your Finances and Budget
Start by checking out your financial situation and collecting necessary documents. Your lender will need things like W-2s or 1099s, bank statements, proof of current income (usually 30 days worth of paystubs), tax returns, and brokerage account statements.
Avoid stuff that could hurt your credit score like splurging on a new car or furniture, and don’t go all out on summer vacation plans.
Keep saving and cut out unnecessary spending to stash cash for a down payment, closing costs, and other homeownership expenses. Think about the overall cost, including maintenance, utilities, and HOA fees.
Look at your budget to figure out a comfortable monthly payment for your new home. Focus on monthly budget and desired payments rather than the purchase price. Homeowners, also consider any equity in your current home—reach out for a market analysis estimate.
Get Pre-Approved for a Loan
Make sure you’re at least pre-qualified before starting your home search, and shoot for pre-approval in a competitive market. Pre-approval shows you mean business, making sellers more likely to consider your offers quickly.
Pre-approval gives you key info, like how much house you can afford, recommended down payment, estimated monthly mortgage payment, and closing costs. Chat with a mortgage lender to check out loan products, credit score requirements, and current interest rates.
Remember, while approval might be more than your budget, be aware of the connection between your chosen price point and monthly payment. Tell your lender your preferred monthly payment range to understand your realistic price range.
Explore the Neighborhood and Window Shop
Before diving into home-buying, figure out your needs and preferences. Make a list of must-haves and deal-breakers to guide your search. Email me for the list of questions I share with my buyer clients to get the juices flowing.
Get to know potential neighborhoods with everyday activities like coffee outings, grocery shopping, and restaurant visits. Check out open houses, both in person and online, to get a feel for local pricing and understand features within your budget.
The Final Countdown
Before you get deep into house hunting, take a moment for self-reflection. Make sure you get your personal needs and budget. Ask yourself important questions, like your commitment to the area, job stability, and consistent income.
Remember, you’re in charge. I’m here to back you up when you’re ready, not to push you to move faster than is right for you.
When You’re Ready…
If you’ve decided to buy a home this year, let’s kick things off before the competition heats up. Reach out to me to make a plan—this is a crucial step before checking out homes, especially if you also need to sell a home. Early planning means a smooth transition without the risk of owning two homes or moving twice. It’s never too early to start the planning process, and I’m ready when you are. Email me to get started.
I'm Leila Hays, and I'm on a mission to help you buy and sell at the same time without paying two mortgages or moving twice. If you're planning to make a move in the next year, it's not too early to plan. Click the link below to get started.
9303 New Trails Dr. Ste. 165
The Woodlands, TX 77381
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