Buying a Home in 2018? Three Important Things to Know

Here are three insider tips for buying a home in 2018:

Meet with a lender

Do you know how much house you can afford? Meet with several lenders to determine the amount of money you are qualified to borrow for a mortgage. Lenders will review your current financial situation, including your credit history and other existing debt.

What if you have solid credit and a good job but not a lot of cash? There are mortgage products available to creditworthy buyers with a down payment as low as 3 percent.  

Be ready to act…fast

Housing supply continues to be suppressed for homes priced between $150,000 and $300,000. If your budget falls within this price range, expect immediate interest from other prospective buyers, including investors paying in cash. In some areas, it’s not uncommon for a new listing to receive multiple offers and subsequently go under contract within days of hitting the market. If you find something you like, work with your real estate agent and put in a competitive offer as soon as you can.   

Affordability remains a challenge

The days of rock-bottom mortgage rates are likely in the rearview mirror, which means that along with climbing prices, buying a home is becoming a little less affordable. That is why it’s crucial to know what you can afford and rely on your real estate agent when negotiating the sales price of your new home. Remember to stay comfortably within your means.

Source: Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors

Are you looking to sell your home but think it needs a bit of a facelift before it’s ready to hit the market? The National Association of Realtors has tips on how you can get the most bang for your buck when you decide to take on a remodel before putting your home on the market to sell.

Here are three areas of the home you should focus on.

Make the kitchen shine

According to research, kitchen remodels, whether they are minor facelifts or total renovations, recover the most money at resale. If you are hoping to make a dated kitchen look modern without spending too much, follow a decluttering and a deep clean with new paint, light fixtures or other small details that buyers will notice. 

If you’re willing and able to spend a bit more cash, installing stainless steel appliances is an easy way to make your kitchen sparkle.

Upgrade the bathroom

Everyone who watches real estate shows knows that buyers positively swoon when they see a spa-like bathroom. But there is no need to start ripping a room apart. Simple upgrades like plush towels and rugs, a new sink faucet or updated cabinet hardware can freshen up a space and wow potential buyers.

Don’t neglect the great outdoors

How your home looks when buyers walk up to it can be just as important as how it looks when they walk into it, so doing something as simple as planting new grass or sod, cleaning exterior walls or updating your landscaping with seasonal plants can have a significant impact. Remember, a home’s curb appeal is its first impression, so make it a good one.