If buying Windsor real estate in 2014 is at the top of your New Year’s resolutions list, buying sooner rather than later may save you some money. Indications point heavily toward a rise in interest rates at some point during the year and while it may not be a huge increase, if this is the case, it may disqualify some buyers who were on the borderline to afford a home. And while there are certainly some good bargains in the housing market today, we are seeing fewer foreclosures and sellers who are desperate to sell.
For buyers who are very serious about moving but have yet to get started, here are some tips to begin the process:
1. Check your credit history:
It is worth knowing your credit score before you start looking at homes. As I have mentioned several times, credit reports can be wrong or fraud may have been committed against your profile. Thoroughly review and understand what your score means. Talk to a bank to see how your score can affect your chances of owning a home.
2. Find the best loan with the best interest rate:
This takes research and if something sounds too good to be true, there is probably a catch. Go with reputable banks, but again, study the loans well. Meet with four or five companies and see what they have to offer. Choose the best one that fits your income and your budget.
3. Find a good real estate team:
While there are those buyers who think they can find a house on their own, the best way to find the best home for you is to find a professional real estate agent who knows the community where you want to live. Hiring a top agent ensures that you will have access to homes that are on the market, or about to be listed. Information on schools, neighbourhoods, crime rates, traffic and other concerns will be right at your fingertips if you hire a well-connected and respected agent.
4. Have your finances in order:
Buying a home costs money. This we all know. But having the money available, such as the deposit once you find a home, inspections and other costs is necessary. Shopping for homes with a pre-approval letter from your bank is a terrific way to get the attention of the sellers if you find a home that you want. This letter tells the homeowners that you can afford to buy their home.
5. Be ready to move:
Buying a home is a huge commitment not from just a financial standpoint, but also because it is time-consuming. Once you find a home, be committed to get paperwork in on time to your lender, follow through with the inspection process and be available when needed should your agent or anyone else require additional information. Doing this ensures that your closing will happen on time.
Finally, here is the best advice I can offer you, whether you are buying a home this year or in the future. This information will never go out of style:
1. Buy in the best location you can afford. It’s better to buy the cheapest home in the best neighbourhood, than the best home in a lesser area.
2. Don’t buy what you can’t afford.
3. Buy in a district with good schools. Whether you have children or not, one day, you will want to sell your home. The better the schools, the better opportunity to sell quickly and at more money.
4. Before bidding, do your homework. Look at neighbourhood comps, study the neighbourhood, schools, etc. If home prices have dropped five percent in the area you are looking, then consider making an offer at 8 to 10 percent less the asking price.
5. Hire a home inspector. Whatever you do, make sure you get a home inspection by a professional. This can alert you whether you are buying a home with a sinking foundation or if only minor repairs are needed. The last thing you want to hear if you neglected to get an inspection is that you have a just purchased a home that needs costly repairs.
If you plan on staying in an area for at least five years or so, then buying a home in 2014 may be for you. But while it takes homework and time, it could very well be the best thing you have ever done.