Though winter is often known for being the real estate “off” season, it can also be a better time to buy! The inventory is a bit more constricted but there are typically fewer house hunters. Also, prices tend to dip a bit in the winter months; which means you may nab that dream home with a bit less stress. So, what to do once you’re ready to start looking this winter?
First and foremost, be sure you’re pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Or, at the very least, begin this paperwork with a mortgage lender so that when the time comes to make an offer on a house you can do so immediately. In order to be pre-approved, you’ll need to submit a barrage of paperwork including proof of income and any assets you may own, as well as a full disclosure of all debts and other loans. Some say just finding and submitting this paperwork is more than half the battle so preparing yourself and getting an early start is key!
Additionally, one of the best tips I can give to those looking to buy is to find one realtor you like and then stick with them. Using multiple realtors or switching every month will just lead to a headache for you and potentially doubling your work to get to know a new realtor and giving them an insight into your homebuying wishlist. Using one realtor allows them to truly get to know you, and your family, and then are able to bring listings to you that are actually what you’re looking for. Using multiple realtors can lead to mixed messages and leaves you with less meaningfully spent time searching for homes. This is also important for relocators. When relocating to a city you're unfamiliar with, your realtor is the key to helping you find the right neighborhood to match your needs.
While I hope you take all my tips to heart, potentially the hardest pill to swallow is that the most necessary thing when buying a home is patience and perseverance. Don’t get discouraged when your search is taking longer than you thought it might. Similarly, don’t give up when the home you thought was “the ONE” gets purchased out from under you. This is another reason why working with the right realtor can really make a difference. Any good realtor will tell you that our number one goal is making our client's hopes and dreams come true. It’s our entire job to help you find the right home and when you have the right realtor on your side will put you at ease.
Please do not hesitate to contact me (with no obligation!) if you have questions about the homebuying process.