Tips for buyers - Buying a Home in Today's Market
November 16, 2023
2023 home buying is not like past years! Mortgage rates have gone from 3% to 7%, lack of inventory of move in ready homes and mortgage rates are the biggest obstacles for many buyers. It's a unique market. This is what you need to prepare and compete.
First step - get your finances in order! Where will your down payment come from? Will the seller pay for some of your clsoing costs? Don't forget to leave some funds in savings for unexpected costs after closing.
What is your Budget? How much of a pyament can you affford based on your income and other expenses?
Review your credit report and correct any errors. Make sure your credit score is where it needs to be to qualify for a mortgage. For a conventional, USDA or VA loan, you need a minimum score of 620. For FHA, a minimum score of 580 and for some down payment assistance programs like MSHDA, you need a FICO score of 640. You can obtain your credit report from each of the three agencies for free once a year.
If you can, work on lowering your monthly debt payments so you can afford more of a home. Reducing your debt can also increase your credit score and reduce your debt-to-income ratio. Lenders offer the best rates to borrowers with high credit scores and low debt to income ratios.
Make your best offer!
Sometimes its not always about the money for the seller. Consider offering to the seller a flexible closing date or allowing the seller to vacate after the closing so they can prepare to move into their next home.
Never waive the inspection. Having an inspection before you go 100% into the purchase allows you to find out if there will be any future immediate costs of the home and will also give the option to back out or negotiate the purchase price.
Most importantly, don’t give up! Buying a home is a process. Its your time to explore what is out there and to understand what makes most sense for you at this time in your life.