2011 Presents the Opportunity to Make Homeownership Your New Year's Resolution
MORRIS PLAINS, NJ- The new year provides an opportunity for Americans to start fresh and develop goals which have come to be known as New Year’s resolutions. Some people strive toward financial aspirations or a professional achievement, while others might choose to pursue a lifelong goal, such as owning a home. If 2011 is the year to achieve your dream of homeownership, the following tips may be helpful.
Talk to the experts Work with a real estate professional, lender and attorney who are familiar with the area in which you would like to buy a home. A real estate agent can provide you with expert knowledge about the local market including information about community life and specific neighborhoods. Make sure you are confident in the abilities of the people you choose for your team and that you are comfortable asking questions and sharing information with them. Once you start looking at homes, the process can move rather quickly and you may have to make critical decisions on a moment's notice. Your agent will be a useful resource throughout the entire process as he or she guides you from the initial search through closing on the purchase of your new home. Your agent will also be instrumental in assembling a list of homes that fit your preferences as well as your budget.
Financing You may have savings allotted to cover your down payment but don’t forget about other upfront expenses like closing and inspection costs. Look into the many programs available to help you reduce upfront costs. Also, it’s never too early in the process to become pre-approved. Doing so will help you develop a budget, understand what price range you can afford and set realistic expectations. Separately, don’t underestimate the importance of a great credit score. If your score is not where you’d like it to be or if there are any inaccuracies, many lenders will recommend steps to improve it, saving you thousands over the life of a loan.
What are your preferences? Make a list of the features you want in a home. For example, figuring out the preferred style, size, location and number of bedrooms and bathrooms will help narrow down the possibilities. Is a short commute to work more important than a larger living space? Take time and think about what you want out of your home. Speak to your real estate agent and browse online for homes that meet your criteria. Many sites, including Weichert.com, allow you to see multiple photos, view school and neighborhood information and set up e-mail alerts to notify you of new listings. Before you begin looking at homes, be sure you have a clear idea of what your wants and needs are, as well as the price you are willing and able to pay.
Weichert has nearly 18,000 sales associates in more than 500 company-owned and franchised sales offices in key markets throughout the U.S. A family of full-service real estate and financial services companies, Weichert helps customers buy and sell both residential and commercial real estate, and streamlines the delivery of mortgages and home and title insurance. For more information, Weichert's customer service center can be reached at 1-800-USA-SOLD or at Weichert's Web site, www.weichert.com. Each Weichert franchised office is independently owned and operated.