Zillow is predicting several of our markets to be hot housing markets in 2024! If you’re planning to buy a home in the coming months, arm yourself with the best insider tips to help you be a successful home buyer this year.
Successful homebuyers get pre-approved
Without question, the first item on your to-do list as a home buyer is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. A pre-approval is a full mortgage loan commitment, subject to a fully executed purchase contract and the completion of an appraisal. It scrutinizes every aspect of your creditworthiness and is reviewed by an underwriter. A pre-approval allows you to be ultra-competitive in a low-inventory market. Keep in mind, that a pre-approval is very different from a pre-qualification, so make sure you know what you’re getting.
Successful homebuyers ask the right questions
More than what you can see when you walk through a home, successful buyers ask questions to make sure they know exactly what they’re buying. Asking questions like, “What are the risks associated with this property?” or “How old is the roof?” and “What’s included in the sale?” are just a few of the top 15 questions we recommend you ask once you’ve identified a home you’d like to make an offer on.
Successful homebuyers don’t overlook new construction
Typically, new construction accounts for relatively 10% of total home sales in any given year, but as new construction continues to pick up, it’s estimated that nearly 14% of all homes for sale in 2024 will be new builds. With the trend of limited housing inventory predicted well into 2024, it’s wise to consider new construction.
Successful homebuyers understand the cost of buying a home in a specific school district
There’s no question about it—school districts have a direct impact on the cost of housing around them. In fact, research shows that for every dollar spent on public schools within a community, home values increased by 20 dollars. Here’s a helpful article that discusses the impact of buying a home in a certain school district.
Successful homebuyers fully understand the home inspection process
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. Many people think that a home inspection covers absolutely everything that could ever go wrong, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case. A general inspection covers the home’s structural and foundation components, exterior, plumbing, appliances, air conditioning and heating. If, however, you are concerned about items like your roof, chimney, pool, mold or asbestos, electrical/HVAC, plumbing, foundation or pest issues, you will likely need a more specialized inspection. You can read about the different types of home inspections here. You can also keep reading to learn about the five most common mistakes buyers make during a home inspection.
Successful homebuyers stay smart under contract
It can be very tempting to make large purchases while your soon-to-be home is under contract. You likely need furniture, perhaps appliances or other big-ticket items, but it’s wise to hold off until you’ve signed your name on the dotted line. Your lender will pull your credit report right before closing again, and thus, the best advice is to wait until after closing to make any large purchases.
It’s also a good idea to get homeowners insurance while you’re under contract, as you have to have your policy in place three days before closing.
Successful buyers have a team of professionals to help them get to the closing table
People underestimate how important it is to have professionals in place for closing. Finding the right agent, attorney and mortgage broker capable of making the entire process of home buying easy and painless is key to working smarter and not harder.