It’s never too early to start looking for your next home. Whether it’s your first or 10th move, buying a new home is a big decision. Don’t wait until you are ready to start making offers before you see what is available. There are many factors that will influence what you eventually choose, when you chose to buy and how you go about it. The more information you have, the better the position you will be in. And the best way to absorb is by getting stuck in.
Do your research
If you’re moving away from your locality, go and spend time in desired areas. Attend local events, chat to people who have been living in the area for a while. You’ll not only find out information that might not be readily available online but you could also stumble upon buying opportunities early. Speak to friends and family about your thoughts and plans, you never know what might come out of a conversation. They might know someone who is looking to sell or thinking about it. Opening the door to conversations like this might afford you the chance to view a house and talk to a potential seller before they’ve even listed.
Get your ducks in a row
Get the finance question out of the way early. Whether it’s through your bank or an Independent Financial Advisor, find out how much you are going to be able to borrow – if applicable, how much you might get for your current home – and then work out your budget from there. You may learn that you need to work on increasing this budget through savings, home improvements or waiting for changes to housing markets. But the sooner you know, the better, so you can start working on a tangible and planned target.
Don’t make the mistake of starting a search with the wrong budget ideas. The disappointment that comes with finding a perfect home only to realise you can’t afford it is perhaps on par with ruling yourself out of a property range. You may never realise that you could have afforded much more but that doesn’t mean the opportunity still hasn’t been equally missed.
Once you have your budget, make sure you maintain or improve your credit score. Not everyone is aware that your credit rating can change every month. If you’re in the rare and enviable position of having a perfect score then you’ll want to make sure it stays that way. If your score is affecting the amount you can borrow or your available interest rates then you’ll want to find out how you can improve this and start working on it. It only takes a fluctuation of a few points on your interest rate to move a monthly mortgage payment from too expensive to affordable, and vice versa.
You’ve likely already got a good idea of what your new house will look like, what it needs inside and in the local area. If you take a little time to add these simple steps to your process, you’ll put yourself in the best position to making your next move the dream step-up in life that you’ve thought about for so long.