Are you thinking of buying a home in 2018? Here are a few tips that can help.

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The new year is here – this means new beginnings, new resolutions and for many, new homes! Today I’ll go through a few tips to help you prepare to buy a home in 2018.

Even if you aren’t sure exactly what your timeline is, the best thing you can do is to begin the process early and take time to prepare. But that doesn’t mean that you need to make any major decisions or lock yourself into anything before you’re ready.

There are a few steps you can take that will help you be ready when the time is right.

First of all, have an idea what your credit looks like. You may have things on your credit report you aren’t currently aware of. There are free sites you can use to help you check your score so that there aren’t any surprises when you’re ready to move forward with your home purchase.

The next thing you should do is talk to a reputable lender. If you don’t know who to talk to, I’d be happy to give you some recommendations. Talking to a lender early on will set you up for a more efficient home buying process and will help you feel secure in your decisions about what to look for. A great lender will be able to guide you toward the right loan program and show you some real numbers to give you an idea of what your payments will look like.

“WHEN BUYING A HOME, TAKE THE TIME TO PREPARE.”

Once you’ve talked to a lender, you should interview real estate agents. Too many buyers fail to be their own advocate when choosing an agent. It’s very important that you get information on an agent’s experience, where they are market experts and what sort of systems they have in place to ensure a smooth home buying process. This will allow you to make an informed decision about which professional will represent your needs the best.

Many experienced agents offer a home buying consultation. This helps them understand your wants and needs and he or she will give you a clear picture of what you can expect from the rest of the process. This includes things like inspections that will be conducted, out-of-pocket expenses and deposits. You’re likely to spend a lot of time with this person so you want to make sure they’re someone you’re comfortable with and enjoy being around.

After you choose the right agent, PUT THEM TO WORK! They should start sending you property listings based on your specific criteria. Have conversations with your agent about which homes you like and don’t like – the more they know about your perfect home, the more they can do to help you find it.

Finally, when the time is right, get out and look. Doing so will give you a better idea of what you like and what you should expect from the market. Seeing homes in person, even if they’re not the home you fall in love with, will give you great perspective so that when you see the right home, you know it.

Buying a home doesn’t have to be a super-fast process. Take your time, be well prepared and have the right pros on your side. If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.