As the New Year gets underway and newly forged goals and resolutions get honed, I encourage you to prioritize any real estate goals you may have for the earlier part of the year. Analysts and economists are predicting the continuation of low interest rates albeit increasing home prices. You don’t want to be sitting on the sideline if you are a hopeful home buyer. You want to have your ducks in a row.
What ducks you may ask? All your ducks, even your ugly duckling (your cousin from Broward).
Here’s a quick reference list of what you should be considering:
- Do you need a mortgage?
The first order of events is to speak to an experienced lender (I prefer a local lender) to understand the process and how much of a mortgage you will qualify for. That lender will run your credit report and you will then have a starting point to begin your home search. This will also allow you to clean up any unforeseen credit issues in advance.
- Do you need to sell prior to buying?
Speak to your Realtor and understand the typical number of days on the market for a home in your neighborhood. There is the ability to buy a home before selling your current home by using a bridge loan program. For example, my company, Compass, offers this program to qualified Buyers/Sellers.
- Do you have a wish list?
While you are daydreaming of your next home, identify needs versus wants. Seldomly are homes perfect. Don’t disregard a home because it doesn’t have a generator, just make sure you can add one down the road. Don’t write a home off because the floors are dated. They can be replaced. Look past paint colors and the cosmetic. Instead focus on the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, flow, location, and resell value.
- Are you working with local real estate expert?
Even though your Aunt insists that her Realtor son who lives in Broward is perfectly capable of finding you the ideal Miami home, I’d wager she/he is not the best choice. The City Beautiful and surrounding areas are very nuanced markets. An experienced local Realtor often hears of new homes coming on the market, knows the true market value of a given home, collaborates with local appraisers and inspectors, and most importantly has a track record with most other local agents which leads to smoother transactions.
These are just a handful of tips to consider if you are rolling into the new decade with the hopes of planting roots in a new place. Home, after all, is where your day begins and ends – make sure it rises to greet you and offers you a feeling of security. Wishing you all the best in 2020 and a healthy and happy New Year!
Carole Smith has consistently been among the top five Realtors in Coral Gables for over 20 years. Assisting hundreds of families find their place in the world in Coral Gables has been among her most significant professional accomplishments.