If you are looking to purchase your first home this year, then you may feel overwhelmed with all you have to learn about homes for sale and the buying process. Of course, you can just casually browse homes for sale on any weekend of the year and put in an offer without doing research beforehand. However, developing a strategic home-buying plan can help you get the most for your money.
Read on to learn three tips for first-time home buyers in 2017.
1. Consider Attending a Home Buyers Seminar
While you likely realize that you have a lot to learn before you purchase your first home, you may not realize that there are classes dedicated to teaching first-time home buyers like you all you need to know about the home-buying process. Home buyers seminars, also called home buyer education classes, are available all over the country, and taking one of these classes can help you prepare for every step of the home-buying process.
During one of these classes, which typically take place in a one-day session, you will learn about the mortgage application process, home inspections, the home closing process, and even how to shop for homeowners insurance.
Home buyers seminars are typically very affordable, and some are even free to attend.
2. Put Offers in on the Right Days
Many first-time home buyers wonder when the best season to shop for a home is. Typically, many sellers put homes for sale on the market in the spring. This makes it very easy to pop into many different homes on a single spring weekend and compare them to find your dream home. However, while homes on the market will be plentiful in the spring, there will also be plenty of buyers checking out the same homes for sale as you.
While the spring home-buying season may be officially over in 2017, according to money management magazine The Balance, the best home-buying month of the year still hasn't arrived, which is December. Not only are home prices typically lowest in the last month of the year, but also few home buyers shop during this month when many Americans are more concerned with celebrating the holiday season than home shopping, meaning you won't have to compete with as many other home buyers when placing bids for a home.
3. Don't Apply for any New Auto Loans or Credit Cards This Year
It is important to start planning for your home purchase at least three months before you begin the mortgage application process. Most importantly, manage your current credit accounts wisely during this period of time and avoid taking out any new loans or credit cards.
Too many credit inquiries during the three to six months before you apply for mortgages will lower your credit score, and financing a new automobile will affect your income-to-debt ratio negatively. Both are factors that lenders take into consideration when deciding whether to approve your mortgage.
If you will be shopping for your first home in 2017, then keep these three tips in mind to make the home-buying process easier and more affordable.