A- Alignment: What you should think about before starting your house search

In Active Lifestyle Living, ABC's of Real Estate by Doug Phelps

Positioning your body is key to success in many sports including golf.  Correctly lining up your body and the club is called alignment. While this may seem like something basic to overlook, especially to a novice, alignment can severely impact outcomes like: where the ball goes, how your back feels at the end of the day and how successful of a game you have that day.  Alignment can be something that even seasoned golfers can forget about and become lazy with but it’s so important because it sets the whole tone of the swing and impacts the outcome. Just like ensuring correct alignment is important to a successful golf game, your home search success hangs on how you begin it.  Whether you are starting your home search for the 1st time or the 10th time, remember some of these key factors:

  • Finances

Your financial situation is the most impactful thing on your home buying journey.  Pre-approved financing keeps you on the straight-and-narrow in terms of looking for homes in the right price range (there’s nothing worse than falling in love with a home beyond your reach).  Start thinking about what you want your payment to be and what you can pay if there are extra expenses involved like an HOA.  You should also have a good idea of you debt-to-income ratio prior to the home buying process as this will impact your buying power.  For some buyers, they may have a great salary but student loans, credit card debt, car loans and other debt can make the buying power have less impact than it could if those debts were paid off.  If you can pay down debt prior, it is probably a good idea to do so. I can connect you with the right mortgage professional to help you explore your financing options.

  • Big Purchases

Are there any big purchases you know are upcoming?  Maybe you know you will need to replace your car during the home-buying process or maybe you’re getting married and the cost of a wedding is on the horizon.  It is usually strongly recommended that these big purchases are put off until after closing so be aware of these.

  • What is on your wish-list?

Knowing exactly what you are looking for will help your agent narrow down what to show you.  For example, if you would love to live on a golf course, make sure your agent knows this so he or she can look for properties on golf courses.

  • What is the purpose of this home?

It may seem very basic, but really ask yourself the purpose of this home.  Is this your first home that you will use as your primary residence? Is this your vacation home that you will only be at a few months during the year?  Is this strictly rental property that you will never live in? Is this a home that you will use as your primary residence but you only plan to be in it while your youngest child finishes high school before you move overseas?  Really ask yourself what this home will mean to you and your future.

  • What is your timeline?

Some buyers tend to forget that the home buying process includes both finding the house and also getting to closing.  Assume that, at the quickest, getting to closing will probably be about 30 days. So if you have children who leave school for Summer break in May and start school again in August and you’d like to be moved in and settled by then, make sure you give you and your family enough time to make this deadline.  Finding the perfect home can be quick or can take a few months depending on the detail of your wishlist and the market status at the time, so make sure you factor this things in.

When you’re ready to begin your home search, contact me at (720) 323-4176, I’d love to make sure you get off to a great start! – Doug