Top Reasons To Own Your Own Home
Have a space that's solely your own
Prioritizing the needs of those closest to you
Lock in your monthly housing payment with a mortgage
Growing your assets and net worth
Enjoying Features that enhance your lifestyle
Having a space that's your own
Tailoring your home to your unique style
Being a part of a broader social group
Tips for Making Your Best Offer
While the housing market is going through a shift, it’s still competitive for buyers because the overall inventory of homes for sale is low. Enjoy having more options as supply continues to grow this year, but keep these tips in mind to help you put in a strong offer once you find the one.
1. Know Your Budget
Knowing your budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a homebuyer. The best first step is working with a lender and getting preapproved for a loan. Your pre-approval indicates how much you’re able to borrow for your mortgage and shows sellers you’re serious. As the Mortgage Reports explains:
“. . . most sellers won’t even consider an offer unless the buyer is preapproved at the right price point. Sellers and their agents want to know you’re ready and able to finance your offer amount.”
2. Lean on a Real Estate Professional
As conditions in the housing market moderate today, it’s especially important to rely on a trusted real estate advisor. As Freddie Mac says:
“The success of your homebuying journey largely depends on the company you keep. . . . be sure to select experienced, trusted professionals who will help you make informed decisions and avoid any pitfalls.”
Agents are experts in what’s happening in the housing market and in your area. They’ll have insight into the latest trends, what they mean for you, and what’s worked for other buyers.
3. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer
As the peak intensity of demand is cooling this year, the number of homes sold over asking price is decreasing and so is the typical number of offers on a recently sold home. But you still need to be prepared to come in with your best offer up front because inventory is still low overall and that makes it a sellers' market.
Lean on your agent to help you understand the current market value of the home you're interested in and recent sales trends in the area so you can craft your best offer.
4. Be a Flexible Negotiator
When putting together an offer, your trusted real estate advisor will help you consider which levers you can pull, including contract contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Of course, there are certain contingencies you don’t want to give up, like the home inspection. Freddie Mac explains:
“A home inspection contingency gives you the opportunity to have the entire home you'd like to purchase examined by a professional before you close on your contract. Without this contingency, you could be contracted on a house you can't afford to fix.”
Bottom Line: It’s still a sellers’ market today, just a more moderate one. Let’s connect so you have expert advice on how to make your strongest offer when you find your dream home.
Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage
Consistency is the name of the game after applying for a mortgage. Be sure to discuss any changes in income, assets, or credit with your lender, so you don't jeopardize your application
Don't change bank accounts
Don't apply for new credit or close any credit accounts
Don't deposit cash into your bank accounts before speaking with your bank or lender
Don't make any large purchases
Don't co-sign other loans for anyone.
What You Need To Know About Down Payment Assistance Programs
When it comes to buying a home, it can feel a bit intimidating to know how much you need to save. Here’s some information you’ll want to know about programs that could help you reach your down payment goals.
You Can Qualify Even if You’ve Purchased a Home Before
There are several misconceptions about down payment assistance programs. For starters, many people believe there’s only assistance available for first-time homebuyers. While first-time buyers have many options to explore, repeat buyers have some, too. According to the latest Homeownership Program Index from downpaymentresource.com:
“It is a common misconception that homebuyer assistance is only available to first-time homebuyers, however, 38% of homebuyer assistance programs in Q1 2022 did not have a first-time homebuyer requirement.”
That means repeat buyers could qualify for over one-third of the assistance programs available. And if you’re a repeat buyer, you may still be able to take advantage of some first-time homebuyer programs, depending on your personal situation. That’s because many of the first-time homebuyer programs use the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of a first-time homebuyer.
Under their definition, you could qualify as a first-time buyer if you’re:
- Someone who hasn’t owned a primary residence in 3 years.
- A single parent who’s only ever owned a home with a former spouse.
That means no matter where you are in your homeownership journey, there could be an option available for you.
You May Be Eligible Based on Your Location or Profession
Additionally, there are other types of down payment assistance programs that you could qualify for based on your location. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
“Many local governments and non-profit organizations offer down-payment assistance grants and loans, targeted to area borrowers and often with specific borrower requirements.”
There are also programs and special benefits for individuals working in certain professions or with unique statuses, including teachers, doctors and nurses, and veterans. Ultimately, there are many federal, state, and local programs available for you to explore. The best way to do that is to connect with a local real estate professional and your lender to learn more about what’s available.
Bottom Line: Down payment assistance programs have helped many homebuyers achieve their dreams, and if you qualify, they could help you too. Let’s connect today to discuss your homebuying goals and options.