Spring is here – and with it comes the most popular time of year to shop for a home. But if prospective homebuyers don’t prepare properly, they could be in for an agonizing search.
Across the country, many housing markets are seeing a record low number of homes up for sale, thanks to fewer existing homeowners opting to move. Tight housing inventory is, in turn, fueling rapid appreciation in home prices, all while mortgage rates have generally increased at a steady pace.
This year, perhaps more than ever before, prospective home buyers need to prepare. Here are some of the most important steps they need to take, according to housing and personal finance experts:
- Review your credit report early and consolidate your debt.
- Decide what type of house you want ASAP.
- Figure out what you can actually afford.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
- Shop around for the right lender.
Don’t expect a computer to do all the work for you. In hot markets, listings may be scooped up before they are even posted online. Real estate agents do more than just help find a potential home. An agent can help you hit the ground running!