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Things to do NOW if you want to buy a home in 2012

Posted by kim carpenter on December 29, 2011
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If  you are considering buying a home in 2012, here are some steps to take to get you on the right path:  

1.    Check your credit.
Contact a lender, have them check your credit and work towards correcting any issues now, so you will be qualified to purchase a home when you are ready.

2.    Do your research.  Contact a real estate agent and do some online research on the following:
·    Target states, cities and neighborhoods.  Whether you are relocating, downsizing or upsizing, now is the time to do your research on tax rates, school districts, neighborhoods and even prices.

Once you narrow things down and start speaking to a local agent, ask them to brief you on the local market dynamics, including how long homes typically stay on the market and whether they generally go for more or less than the asking price, so you can be smart about how you search.

·    Real estate and mortgage pros. If you don’t already have your pros picked out, now is the time to get on the horn or drop an email or Facebook message to your circle of contacts, asking them for a referral to an agent and lender they love.  Check their recommendations and testimonials.

·    Short sales and REOs.
  Get educated about short sale or foreclosed properties.  If you are short on time, a short sale property may not be what you need as they can take as much as 6 months to complete the transaction.  Bank or foreclosed properties can be easier to get closed.
·    What you get for the money.  Once you have narrowed your search, you need to physically view some properties to see what your money can buy and also point out amenities that are important to you.
·    Mortgage musts.  Speak to your lender, ask for advice, you may need to pay down a bill or pay one off or provide some additional documentation to your lender.

3.    Fluff up your cash cushion. So, you’ve saved up your 3.5 percent down payment. Perhaps you saved a little extra for closing costs.  Or maybe you’re even one of those uber-aggressive 20-percent-down-ers.  No matter how much you’ve saved, you’ll find that you could use more once you activate your home buying action plan. Mark my words – after closing, you’ll crave extra cash to do some repairs, upgrade a couple of things, buy appliances or even just to hold onto in order to minimize your anxiety about depleting your savings!

So, if homebuying is on your personal 2012 action plan, watch your spending, DON”T make any large purchases after applying for your mortgage, wait to buy that new furniture until after you have closed on your dream home.  Don’t change jobs, you will a solid job history in order to qualify for a mortgage.

Start your home search on my website, give me a call and let’s get you on the road to owning your dream home!

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