Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you currently own and are looking for a new home, the ideas below will help you better navigate that all-important first step: Finding a property that is both appealing and affordable.
The search for a new home always starts out with a lot of excitement. But if you haven’t prepared, frustration can soon set in, especially in a competitive real estate market. The biggest mistake is jumping into a search unfocused, just hoping to “see what’s available.” Instead, we recommend you first take some time to work through the four steps below.
Step 1: Talk to your agent
Even if you’re just thinking about buying or selling a house, start by consulting your real estate agent. An agent can give you an up-to-the-minute summary of the current real estate market, as well as mortgage industry trends. They can also put you in touch with all the best resources and educate you about the next steps, plus much more. If you are interested in finding an experienced agent in your area, we can connect you here.
Step 2: Decide how much home you can afford
It may sound like a drag to start your home search with a boring financial review, but when all is said and done, you’ll be glad you did. With so many people competing to buy what is available, it’s far more efficient to focus your search on the properties you can afford. A meeting or two with a reputable mortgage agent should tell you everything you need to know.
Step 3: Envision your future
Typically, it takes at least five years for a home purchase to start paying off financially—which means—the better your new home suits you, the longer you’ll most likely remain living there.
Thinking of your near future, what life events do you anticipate in the next five or six years? If you’re planning to add to the family or change careers, or even rent out a portion of your home to others, share this information with your real estate agent. They will be able to help you evaluate your current and future needs to help find the best home that you can grow into.
Step 4: Visualize your ideal home
When it comes to this step, be realistic. It’s easy to get carried away dreaming about all the home features you want. Try listing everything on a piece of paper, then choose the five “must-haves,” and the five “really-wants.”
For more tips, as well as advice geared specifically to your situation, connect with an experienced Windermere Real Estate agent by clicking here.
Your fantastic new home at 7556 Little Fox Lane in Wellington in the popular Wellington Downs neighborhood features a huge kitchen opening to a large great room with a high vaulted ceiling and large windows. Upstairs, you’ll find all 3 bedrooms with an awesome 5-piece master suite and laundry room. Unfinished basement for extra living space or storage! Entertain or relax on the over-sized patio in a fully landscaped backyard with plenty of grass. Quick access to I-25 and all this great community has to offer! Contact Jon Holsten at (970) 237-2752 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
When I was growing up, my family must have moved a dozen times. After the first few moves, we had it down to a science: timed out, scheduled, down to the last box. Despite our best efforts, plans would change, move-out and move-in days would shift, and the experience would stress the entire family out. Despite the stress, we always managed to settle in our new home and sell our old one before the start of school.
With a lot of planning and scheduling, you can minimize the stress of selling your house and moving. Here are some tips:
Know when you want to be moved out and into your new home and have a backup plan in case it falls through. Before you sell your home, familiarize yourself with local and state laws about selling a home so you’re not caught by surprise if you forget something important.
Lists and schedules are going to be your new best friend through the process. Have a timetable for when you want to sell your house when you have appraisers, realtors, movers, etc. over. Also, keep one for when your things need to be packed and when you need to be moved into the new place. I suggest keeping it on an Excel sheet so you can easily update it as the timeline changes (and it will – stuff happens).
First time selling a house? Check out some great resources on what you need to know. US News has excellent, step-by-step guides on what you need to know to sell. Appraisers and realtors can also be good resources, and since you’ll be working with them through the process, be sure to ask them questions or have them point you to resources.
Have your house appraised before you sell so you know your budget for your new home. This will help you look for an affordable home that meets your family’s needs. It will also help you maximize the amount you can receive for your old home. You can also learn useful information from an appraisal, such as which repairs need to be made, if any.
Does your house need repairs before you move? If so, figure out whether you’ll be covering them, or whether your buyers will (this will be a part of price negotiations, so factor it in with your home budget). Will you need to make repairs in your new house, or will that be covered? Either way, make sure you know which repairs need to be made – and either be upfront with buyers about them or make them before you sell.
Prepare to Move
If you’re moving to a new town or a new state, you need to prepare more than just a new home. Research doctors and dentists, places to eat, and what to do for fun. If you have school-aged children, look at the local school district or private school options – not only to learn how to enroll your kids, but also to get a feel for the school culture, see what extracurricular activities your kids can do, what standards/learning methods your kids’ new school will implement, etc.
Think: how soon are you moving, what will you need to use before you move, what can get boxed and what needs to stay out? The sooner you’re moving out, the sooner you need to pack, but if you have time, just take a day per weekend to organize a room, pack what you want to take and arrange to donate what you want to get rid of.
Moves are a great time to purge old, unwanted and unused stuff from your home. Sometimes, it’s necessary if you’re moving into a smaller space. Either way, as you pack each room, think about whether you use what you’re packing to take with you. If you do, pack it to go. If not, put it in a separate box to go to your local donations place. You can also call some organizations to have your unwanted things picked up, no hassle.
If You Have Kids
Moving with kids can be extra stressful. Be sure to include them in the process. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach younger children about moving and prepare them for the changes it brings. Older children can help out with responsibilities, like packing their room or researching their new town.
Your New Place
Moving into a new place takes some planning as well. Once you’ve bought your new home or condo, design at least a basic outline for where your stuff will be set up. Make necessary repairs and decorate (painting, for example) before you unpack. Ideally, you should have some time to do these things before, but if you don’t, don’t be in a hurry to unpack everything – it can be a hassle to paint if you have all your furniture and bookshelves up!
Staying In Touch and Making New Friends
Finally, moving can mean good-byes with family and/or friends. Social media is a great way to keep in touch with people after you’ve moved, but distance can still weaken these old relationships. Make some time to call or message your old friends to keep in touch. Pair that work with a concerted effort to meet new people. See what hobbies or groups are in your new area and start there. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it can make your new house a home and make your new town a community you can enjoy.
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. Patrick is currently a writer for Mountain Springs Recovery as well as on his own blog.
Here are some interesting stats from our friends at Metro Study who study new home activity along the Front Range.
• New home starts are up 14% compared to last year – this is really good news and is helping to relieve the shortage of housing inventory
• Every product type saw an increase in starts compared to last year (single family, town-home and condominium)
• Condominiums saw the largest increase in starts by a long shot, up 112% over last year- this is excellent news for first time buyers and those looking for product in lower price ranges.
With fall right around the corner many of us will be trekking up to Estes Park to see the Aspen leaves turning.
As you drive through Estes you may wonder “how’s the mountain market?”
Here are some fun facts about real estate in Estes Park.
- The average price today is $394,046 – not that different than Fort Collins.
- Average prices have gone up $60,000 in the last three years.
- Their market has about 300 sales per year- roughly a tenth of the amount in Fort Collins.
- If you were looking for a home in Estes between $300,000 and $500,000, you would have 15 to choose from.
Now you know about the Mountain Market!
After a very active (to say the least) spring and summer, the door has now opened for buyers in our market.
Buyers who were frustrated during the first half of the year with low inventory and bidding wars now realize a better environment. It’s time to step off the sidelines and take a fresh look at what the market has to offer.
The first piece of good news is that rates have dropped to near all-time lows. Rates today are 0.6% lower than they were on January 1st. What this means on a $400,000 home with a conventional loan is a monthly savings of $110!
The second piece of good news is that inventory levels are coming up. There are more homes on the market to pick from and lower demand because of seasonal slowing. Months of inventory in Larimer County markets have bounced up 20% to 33%.
August marks the end of the busy real estate selling season and the beginning of the traditional seasonal slowdown in our market.
The four months of April, May, June and July tend to produce 45% of the year's total sales. This is based on looking back at 5 years of data.
If 2016 holds true to form, the next five months from now until the end of the year will be progressively slower.
No surprise that December tends to be the slowest month with a third of the number of sales compared to a typical July.
Here's what we will be watching closely over the next few months – is this year's seasonal slowdown "normal", or, because the market has been so hot this year, is it breaking traditional trends.
We will be sure to keep you informed!
Our market is under-supplied. Plain and simple. There is a 1 to 2-month supply of homes across Northern Colorado. A balanced market would have 6 months.
Builders are faced with high land costs, high materials cost, high labor costs, high permitting costs and high water costs. It’s pretty much impossible, in most parts of our market, to deliver a new home under $400,000.
So, condominiums to the rescue right? Not so fast. Because of onerous construction defect laws, developers do not want to build multi-family, for sale product. It’s too risky. They’d rather build apartments.
Our market is under-supplied. Plain and simple.
This is really good news if you are a seller who wants to move up. This is especially good news if you are a seller of a condominium.
Contact us to find out what our under-supplied market has done to the value of your home. We’ll put together an Equity Snapshot which will show you, in detail, what your home is worth in today’s market. It’s valuable information to have whether you are thinking of selling or not. Just call 970-460-3033 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.