Four Things You Should Do Before Starting Your Home Search

Advance preparation will help you get ready to pounce on your ideal home when you see it

Four Things You Should Do Before Starting Your Home Search

Are you considering purchasing a new home? You may be tempted to start exploring this idea by browsing for dream homes online. While this may give you a nice fuzzy feeling, it’s not the most practical way to proceed. In order for the home buying process to go as quickly, smoothly, and satisfyingly as possible, you need to be more methodical about it.

It’s especially important to be prepared well in advance of your hopeful purchase date, so that you can recognize and act on the perfect opportunity when you see it. Here are four things you should do to prepare yourself before you even start looking at listings.

Develop Your Vision

Spend some time articulating your vision for the ideal home for your family. At this point, you should focus on how you want the home to fit into your daily life, rather than what it looks like. Think about how long you want your commute to be, whether you want your kids to be able to walk to elementary school, whether you want to be near a park, etc. Also consider how your needs may change with time and how this could affect your ideal home. With your vision intact before you start your home search, you are less likely to fall in love with a property that isn’t really a good long-term fit.

Recruit Your Team

Your real estate agent and your mortgage broker will play a key role in helping you purchase your new home. So don’t make the selection of these professionals an afterthought! Instead, take the time to find a team you are really comfortable with. When choosing your real estate agent, be sure to look for someone with experience in the specific local market you want to buy in.

Check Your Credit

To avoid unpleasant surprises when you’re trying to get approved for a mortgage, it’s wise to check your credit before you start the mortgage application process. You may be surprised to discover errors on your credit report that are dragging your credit score down and preventing you from accessing the very best financing. You may also find that you need to pay down some outstanding bills in order to improve your credit. By being proactive about investigating your credit, you will give yourself time to correct any issues. You can get a free credit report from the website AnnualCreditReport.com.

Save Cash for Closing

Hopefully you already have some cash saved for your down payment. A good target might be 10 to 20 percent of your expected purchase price. However, there will be additional expenses to pay at closing, and you definitely don’t want to get caught short. Your mortgage broker can help you get a better idea of what these costs might be in your situation, so you can plan accordingly and make sure you have plenty of cash before you start your home search.

Ready to Start Your Home Search?

If you’re ready to start looking for a new home, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties today. We have plenty of local market experts on staff.