Whether you have your eye on homes in Southwest Florida or a condo in San Diego, February is a great time to prepare for the home buying season. Now, it’s true that in SWFL, the warmer weather does keep our market moving throughout the year, we also see increased activity as spring approaches.
However, if you’re thinking you can hold off to prepare until March or even April… I recommend a different approach. Because the home buying process can have many steps, it’s best to get a head start. This is especially true if you’re buying during a busier time of the year. The last thing you’ll want is to get outbid by other buyers only because you weren’t fully prepared.
But with this handy checklist, you’ll be able to get ready to buy your home, even in a bustling market.
Create a priorities checklist
First, you’ll want to know what your priorities are apart from your wants. This adds perspective to the buying process during a time when it matters most.
Sit down and have a conversation
Next, I recommend talking with your partner, if you have one, about your purchase. This conversation will allow you both to get on the same page about your timeline and other aspects of the home buying process.
Create an action plan
Once you’ve had a chance to talk, it’s time to create an action plan. You might not think of buying a home as something that needs an action plan. But truthfully, it can be a time-sensitive process, where you want to know what your next step is after you complete each one.
Review your credit report
One of the first items on your action plan should be to review your credit report again. Now, you don’t want to be checking in on your score constantly (and we can talk about what time makes the most sense for you). But you want to have an idea of where you score stands, including your debt to income ratio.
Set your budget
Once you’ve looked at your report, you can start to set your budget range. Without a budget, it will be difficult to narrow down homes to match your unique situation. Once you’ve set one, however, you’re free to start comparing properties.
Determine your down payment
Your down payment is a big part of your home purchase. For some programs, which we’ll look at in a moment, a smaller down payment is certainly possible. However, in many cases, increasing the down payment may be a good idea.
Start shopping banks
Did you just think you’d take out a loan from your bank? The fact of the matter is that you don’t have to choose your bank for your home loan; other banks may have more attractive offers when it comes to taking out your home loan.
These are just a few of the steps you can take to get prepared ahead of time for a busy real estate season. And if you need more information, or have any questions about Southwest Florida real estate, please feel free to email me.
Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service