Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How do I know if I am ready to buy or sell a house?

Getting your money matters in line before buying and selling real estate will help ensure the process is less stressful and you make the best decision for your current situation and your future.
Two comon real estate regrets for buyers are:
  • they wish they had put down a larger down payment on their home, and
  • they wish they had been more financially secure before they bought a home. 
So how does this apply in terms of financial preparations for home buying? Do more than the bare minimum to qualify for the sort of home you want when it comes to saving up the minimum down payment for your desired purchase price, getting credit boosted as much as possible and making sure we have all documents lined up for a lender’s underwriter. 

View home buying as an opportunity to take a deeper look into your finances and make an ongoing, lifelong commitment to good financial pricipals and planning.
This means:
  • keeping a current budget and creating a financial plan that includes not just your mortgage and other living expenses but also carves out sufficient resources for saving, investing and other things that represent your values and are important to your future, and
  • staying accountable to these values and your plans, even through the process of becoming a homeowner.
So how does this apply in terms of financial preparations for home selling? Know the expenses involved in selling when it comes to fees, taxes, home repairs, moving, etc. and what your bottom line is financially.

If you are considering selling you home, it's a good time to evaluate:
  • what items are in need of immediate repair/updates?
  • what do you like and dislike about your home?
  • why do you want to move?
  • how is the market in the area where I am living now vs where I want to be?
  • where will you live when if home sells?
  • what happens if you don't move in the next 1 year? 5 years?

There are many books, resources and financial professionals who can help you ensure that you execute home ownership in a way that is ultimately beneficial to your financial well-being and not harmful to it.  This includes timing your real estate transaction to align with when you’ve achieved certain financial goals (savings, reduced debit, credit improvement, etc) or have cultivated particular financial habits (follow a budget, goal setting, etc). 

Once you have a financial picture and are ready to make a move, it's time to find a real estate agent that will help you get access to the best values and negotiate the best terms and/or get your home sold for the most money, in your desired time frame and hopefully with the fewest amount of headaches possible. 

Buying and selling real estate is a process and for most people, the largest financial decision they will make in their lifetime. Seeking professional advice and assistance will help you navigate through.

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