BOSTON, Jan. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- One of my favorite quotes is from American humorist Mark Twain: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." And, for you house-hunters who have been fence sitting since George W. was president, 2013 is THE year to get off the couch and buy that new home. And here's why:
- Mortgage rates are still ridiculously low but are not expected to stay that way
- Lenders are loosening the reins a bit and getting a mortgage is no longer near impossible
- Smart homeowners who have held off selling realize that pent-up demand on the buying side makes this Spring a golden opportunity
While online browsing can be fun when you're looking for that first home, the real fun begins when you hit the sidewalks. Exploring a potential neighborhood gives you the essence of where you might love living. Checking out home layouts solidifies what's more important to you in terms of living space. The "Condo vs House" question becomes clearer when you start seeing firsthand what home maintenance might entail. You need to engage all your senses in order to feel comfortable when trying to identify THE house.
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."
And keep in mind that you are not alone when it comes to starting your search in earnest. The spring thaw not only brings out the blue jays and robins ... it also brings out your competition. That first time when you go to an Open House and there's a swarm of other buyers, you'll know that the pent-up demand that I mentioned earlier is a real thing. Everyone wants a bargain and no one likes to lose in a bidding war so be prepared to handle the pressure. Here are some tips to help calm your house-hunting nerves:
- Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage. Buyers with a pre-approval letter in hand will be considered seriously by any seller.
- Keep Your Monies Liquid. Buyers with cash readily available (and not locked up in mutual funds) will be better prepared to close quickly.
- It's Better by the Half Dozen. Never look at more than six homes in the same day. Anything beyond that becomes a blur.
- Hire a Buyer's Agent. This bears repeating: hire a buyer's agent. This licensed professional is the most important asset to a successful home search. Bar none.
While you're daydreaming about that new home you want so badly, someone else is already out there buying it. So do yourself a favor this year ... get off your sofa, put on some comfortable shoes and get out there!
(Michael A. Pallares is Boston-based Realtor specializing in first-time home buyers and relocation clients. You can reach him at email@example.com or through his website www.GoHomeWithMichael.com. For more home-buying tips, check out his blog at GoHomeWithMichael.
SOURCE Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage