If you are thinking about buying a new home, please, please, PLEASE complete the following two steps before looking at homes.
Meet with a lender and meet with a Realtor. It doesn’t matter which one you start with as long as you complete both meetings before home shopping.
A lender will let you know if you are actually able to buy a home, at what price point, how much of a down payment you will need, what kind of interest rate you might get, and what your monthly payments would look like at which price points.
A Realtor will help you manage your expectations, help you know which of your needs and wants can be met at which prices, and help you understand neighborhood regulations and HOAs, etc.
If you go out and look at homes before these two steps are completed, more often than not, you end up discouraged, either by loving a home you can’t afford, loving a home you can barely afford that will make you house poor, or by looking at homes so far under your actual price point that you are underwhelmed and lose your excitement for house shopping. You may think it won’t happen to you, but very few people who shop before speaking with a Realtor or lender begin on the right footing with the best tools available to them.
Are YOU looking to buy a home? I offer a free one hour consult for those looking to buy to see when the best time to buy will be for them, as well as helping them understand what to expect in the home buying process.