Buy Smarter, Not Harder

Image of Bill Partinby Bill Partin
President/CEO
Sharonview Federal Credit Union

April 2018

As the housing market swells and home buying inches toward its seasonal peak, it’s important to ensure you’re on top of your game. If you find that now is the time for you to jump into the market and find your dream home, grab a pen and paper, and take notes on some of our most essential tips for smart home buying.

1. Start with a plan

Research is your best friend when buying a home – from ensuring your finances are in the right place to checking for the best deals in your market. Learning to be an informed buyer is essential to making the right steps in the home buying process. As you’re looking at market prices and what you can personally afford, compare renting versus buying a home and weigh your options. Perhaps it’s best for you to move at a slower pace, as opposed to making that big leap.

Home Buying Tips

2. Obtain a copy of your credit report

This step is important for identifying what you'll be approved for and what you will pay each month. Check your report as soon as you receive it to make sure everything is correct before you begin applying for a mortgage. Additionally, getting preapproved for a mortgage will show you the price tag you can afford and will make the process smoother once you’ve found a property you like.

3. Slow down on purchasing any high-ticket items

In the months leading up to the start of your home buying process, try not to spike your credit activity. According to NerdWallet, any moves across that front can potentially hinder your credit profile right when you need it to be at its best. From opening credit card accounts to purchasing expensive items, spikes in your activity may not be worth the trouble they bring to your home buying experience.

4. Don’t do it alone

Especially if you’re a first-time home buyer, going through this tedious process tends to be easier with a professional by your side. Search your market or your social circle to find a reliable realtor that can help take away some of the inevitable stress that comes along with buying a home, as well as offer advice and expertise to guide you along the way. Need some extra support? Utilize Sharonview’s online mortgage calculators or meet with a financial advisor.

5. Schedule an inspection

While you may think you’ve found the home that perfectly suits your needs and meets your expectations, you never know what may be found once an inspector takes a look around. Past owners may not disclose or know about certain issues that lie beneath the surface. Don’t get too nervous, however, if the inspector’s report isn’t completely clean. Many problems can be solved before you move in or with a slight price adjustment. No matter what, always ensure you’re as knowledgeable as possible about these hefty financial commitments.

6. Don’t try to time the market

According to HGTV, attempting to anticipate the housing market is impossible. Just like the stock market, the housing market is inconsistent and nearly impossible to perfectly follow. Jump into the market and find your dream home whenever you’re ready to do so, not when you feel you’ll get the most bang for your buck. You never want to miss out on the home that fits you and your budget just because you’re waiting for the market to peak. Use your best judgment and begin the process when the time is right for you.

Now that you have a few tips to take with you along the way, you’re sure to find a home that’s right for you and your budget.

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