7 Steps for Buying a Home in the New Year

Happy New Year!  Welcome to 2018.   Glad you made it.   Here’s to another great year for you and yours.
If you have been waiting to buy or rent-to-own a home, then let’s take some steps this new year to get you into a home of your own.   This year’s housing market is looking to grow yet again though overall growth is beginning to show signs of leveling out.  2018 should be a great year to fulfill that life long goal of becoming a home-owner

1. Reduce your Spending

Without a doubt, the single most significant step is to curb your spending.  Avoid opening any new credit accounts and be sure to stop spending excess money on things you don’t need.  Take some time to sit down and go through your statements to make sure you aren’t being billed for items you’ve canceled.  Examine where you’re spending the most money and take steps to reduce spending.   Reduce spending on fast food, pull back on vices (it’s healthier anyway), and spend less at department stores, etc.  Be thrifty with your money.

2. Save

While “saving” may seem like a result of the step above,  Step 1 was just to create something to save.   Saving money requires an action.   Take all that money you’ve stopped throwing away and spend it on yourself.   Pay yourself instead of paying other people.   Put that money in a savings account or split it up into multiple savings accounts for different uses.  You have to invest in yourself and your future or you won’t ever reach the financial goals you’re trying to attain.

3. Consider Taxes

Buying a home in 2018 and for the foreseeable future will have new tax consequences which any new homeowner will want to know about before purchasing a home.  Along with the conforming loan limit increase, there are also many changes to tax deductions allowed on home payments.  We wrote an article outlining more about home taxes and the GOP’s tax plan effect on the housing market last month.  Read it.

4. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan.

Figure out how much money you can borrow and get pre-approved before you even start looking for a home.  Doing this helps you limit your search to only things you can afford.   It is never any fun looking at and falling in love with a house only to apply for a loan and find out you can’t afford it.

5. Start your Search and Narrow Down your Options.

Everyone has their idea of the perfect home.   Lot size, Sqft, features, neighborhoods, schools, proximity to freeways;  The list here can just go on and on.   Build a list of wants and needs and judge each property by that standard.

6. Be Flexible

You have to understand that you’re going to have to make compromises.  You will never find the perfect home that checks off every box on your list.  The more flexible you are, the easier your search will be.

7. Have Patience 

Remain patient the process of finding a home to buy or rent-to-own can be quite the task.   You will find a home that you like eventually.   It is more likely you will find several homes you want and you’ll need to make hard choices about which home to make your own.