Spring is right around the corner and the weather is warming up, and with it is a great time to get outside and start the search for your next home purchase. Keep in mind before you start your search that there are some tasks that you want to prepare with and some tips that you can use to make your search time more productive. Here are some recommendations to help you with a successful home buying experience.
Use Your Real Estate Agent's Experience
When you start to compile your wish list in a home, your real estate agent can help you in establishing a search area to integrate into the efforts. As you decide the age of the home you want to buy or the size of the lot you want as the property's yard, you will also need to decide where you want to buy and where you don't want to look.
Your real estate agent will be able to provide you with information about various areas and neighborhoods, including information about the school districts and the schools located in that area. Your real estate agent will also be able to search out crime statistics in an area and provide you with overall counsel about different neighborhoods and areas within a city.
If you are looking at your commute from your new home to your office, your real estate agent can help you calculate your drive time. They will also be able to give you details about traffic during rush hour or which roads are toll, especially if you are new to the area and don't have this information from your own experience.
Start the Mortgage Process
You should also start early on to get your mortgage loan started. You can apply for a loan and talk to a mortgage broker before you even start looking for homes. In fact, your real estate agent will recommend you do this so you know how much you will qualify for and have a prequalification letter with you for when you do find a home you want to put an offer on. Having a prequalification letter from a mortgage broker will strengthen your offer and provide the seller confidence in an offer you submit.
Starting early in the mortgage loan approval process will also provide you time to handle any problems that arise with your financing. For example, if you have a lot of unsecured debt on your credit that might prevent you from getting a good rate, you can work on paying that down before you start home shopping.