So last week we began talking about the three steps you can take to be on your way to a smooth and successful homebuying experience. We discussed step 1 which was about the importance of meeting with a lender at least 3-6 months before you plan on buying. This week we will be talking about step 2.
Step 2: Take the time to learn about the real estate market in the area where you are looking to buy before you are ready to buy.
Real estate is very local in nature. Different cities and towns have different characteristics in populations, jobs, topography, local economics, ect... that cause each city or town to have a unique real estate market. Because of this, it is very important that before you buy a home you learn as much as you can about the real estate market where you are buying a property.
The first thing you should do is to find and team up with a reputable REALTOR who is actively selling real estate in the area where you are looking to buy. Let the REALTOR know what your housing needs are, and ask the REALTOR to educate you about the real estate market where you are looking to buy. A good REALTOR should be able to help you get a grasp of what the housing inventory is like in the area where you are looking to buy as well as educate you about specific areas and neighborhoods in the city or town where you are looking to buy. This is crucial because the more you know about the real estate market where you are looking to buy, the better you will understand how much house you can get for your money. This will also help you to be able to tell the diffrence between what is a good deal versus what is not a good deal in the area where you are looking to buy.
Since at this point you should have already spoken to a lender about a home loan, you and the REALTOR that you are working with should be focusing on learning about homes that are in the price range that you can afford. Once you have an idea of your local real estate market, ask your REALTOR if he/she can set you up on an automatic email notification that will send you information on homes in your price range and that fit your housing needs. These automatic emails are going to further help you to get a good understanding of the real estate market in the area that you are looking to buy, and it will help to keep you in the loop as to what potential homes for you are on the market. This means that when you are ready to get serious about finding and making an offer on a property, you will have a good idea of where and what homes you should be looking at.
One tip I would suggest is to write down and keep track of the homes you really like in the automatic email notifications that you receive. That way when you are ready to buy, you can go back and look at those homes you took note of to see if they are still available, and if they are, you can go look at those homes. This little trick will save you time, because once you are ready to buy, you will spend less time figuring out which homes you want to go look at.
All in all, being educated about the local real estate market where you are looking to buy a home and getting set up on an automatic email notification that sends you information on newly available homes that fit your housing needs and that are in your price range, is going to enable you to more quickly find the right home. Once you are ready to buy a home, you will spend less time looking at homes because you will have a better idea of where and what homes you should be looking at. Also, when you find the right home, you will be more confident about your decision because you will know you are getting a good deal.
Stay tuned until next week, when I will be discussing step 3 in the "3 Step Process To a Smooth and Successful Home Buying Experience." Next week I will be discussing the importance of learning about the actual steps in the homebuying process ahead of time.