Earlier this year, it was announced that qualifying for a mortgage is about to change. Effective January 1, 2018, the rules will make it a little more difficult for some Buyers to secure a mortgage. If you do not want to worry about how the changes will affect your home buying process, then now is the time to buy. Here is some advice to help you buy a great home, at a great price, before the end of the year.
1. Get serious about your numbers
Before you step foot in your first open house, make sure you know exactly what you can afford and how much mortgage you will qualify for. With accurate information, you can target your search to homes that you will be able to purchase. The easiest way to get serious about your numbers is to meet with a mortgage broker. A great mortgage broker will help you get pre-qualified for a mortgage and can also help you figure out how much house you can afford based on your current income and projected monthly expenses.
2. Know what you want
Write down exactly what you are looking for in a home. My Home Buyer Wish List can help you narrow down the criteria that are important to you. This exercise also helps your Realtor learn exactly what you want in a home so they can tailor their search more specifically and save you from wasting time touring homes that just do not work for you.
3. Be flexible
While it is important to know what you want, it is also important to be flexible. Once your Realtor knows your wants, needs, and deal breakers, they may have a solution or option that you have not considered. Be open to hearing ideas and strategies for getting what you want.
If possible, try to be somewhat flexible with offer conditions such as the possession date. Many Sellers appreciate that and it can be an excellent bargaining tool when making an offer.
4. Be ready to act
When you see a house that you really like, be ready to make an offer quickly and be available to respond to counteroffers in a timely manner. If you want to close a deal before the end of the year, make room in your schedule for house hunting and all that goes along with it. If you are really pressed for time due to work or personal commitments that you simply cannot ignore, then let your Realtor know. In the past, I have helped clients by taking on some of the tasks that they did not have time for such as arranging the inspection, pre-viewing homes on my own, coordinating repairs, and being available at times most convenient for them. A great Realtor should be happy to accommodate you, just let them know what you need.
5. Work with a Realtor you like
This advice applies to anyone buying a home, but it is particularly important when you want to successfully buy a home within a short amount of time. Interview a few different Realtors and pick the one that is the best fit for your personality and your home buying goals. For my clients, I make the process fun for them and work hard to develop a true friendship that lasts long beyond possession date.
Year-end is coming up quickly but with a plan and the right Realtor, you have time to sign on the dotted line before the new mortgage changes come into effect. If you have any questions about buying a home or how the mortgage changes might impact you, please feel free to call me. I can be reached at 403-464-9300. I will help you find your pathway home!