2015 is well underway, and many people have begun following through on their New Year’s resolutions. Gyms are filling up, nicotine gum is flying off the shelves, and everyone is trying to start the year on a strong note. And for those who are looking to make 2015 the year they finally stop renting and buy a home, the road ahead looks intimidating.
Buying a home is a serious step, but actually beginning the process is what many people find hardest. If you want to buy a new home this year, here is some advice to help you get started on your journey.
Spread the Word
It’s easy to procrastinate looking for a home when you are the only one who knows about your plans. Instead, spread the word to friends and family that this is the year you buy a home. A strong support system is a powerful motivator, and can help make the search more tangible. Plus, if several people know you are looking to buy, they may be able to tip you off to potential homes that are on the market.
Ask for Referrals
Now that you have publicly announced your intentions to buy, you can start phishing around for realtor referrals. Choosing the right realtor is a key step to finding the perfect home, so ask your friends and family for advice. There is a good chance you know someone who owns their own home, and these people can share their experience with you and direct you to a qualified realtor, like myself.
Familiarize Yourself with Your Credit
You may not have had to concern yourself with your credit history as a renter, but buying a home is a completely different ball game. Start by requesting a credit report, to get an idea of where you stand. Then look for any outstanding issues you may have, so you can stay on top of them early.
Visit an Open House
Buying a home can be intimidating, especially for first-time buyers. The best thing to do is just jump in with both feet. Look for an open house in your area, and drop in. It will give you a good idea of how the process works, allow you to familiarize yourself with the market, and hopefully spark your imagination. You should use this opportunity to make note of things you like about the house, and add them to your list of ‘must-haves.’
The first step is always the hardest, but once you commit to buying a home, you may find that it is the best decision you will ever make.