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Whether you’re in the market for your first home, ready to upgrade to something bigger, or want to downsize, the real estate market in St. Louis is a busy one. And while it can be exciting to get the process started, it can also be overwhelming. If you want to streamline your homebuying process to get the best results (and minimize stress), here are a few things to consider:
Make Sure Your Finances are in Order
This is commonly the area that creates the most stress, so directing your attention here is a good first step. Depending on how far you are into the process already, there are a number of things you can do to set yourself up for success. If you’re just getting started in your search, you’ll want to define your price range. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage lets you know exactly how much you’ll be able to spend, and it can help you move faster when you find the right home. Keep in mind — the amount you’re pre-approved for isn’t necessarily the amount you’ll want to spend. Spend some time breaking down the monthly payments at different home price-points, so that you can determine a realistic budget that doesn’t impact your lifestyle adversely. If at all possible, refrain from doing things that could have a negative impact on your credit score, like buying a car, changing jobs, or paying off large amounts of debt.
Get Professional Support
The entire homebuying process will be much smoother if you align yourself with the right support. Start by building relationships with real estate and mortgage professionals. Ask friends and family for recommendations and do some online research for prospects. You want to partner with a real-estate agent who understands your needs, and work with a loan officer you trust to guide you through the lending process with your best interests in mind. Have multiple conversations and then make a decision when you feel confident.
Refine Your Search
There are so many factors for homebuyers to consider, and the more specific you can be about what you’re looking for, the better. Apart from price, consider location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and then you can focus on aesthetics. Once you narrow your search based on your must-haves, the search will begin to feel more manageable. Eliminating the options that are out of budget or not in your desired neighborhood, leaves you with a master list of real options to research further.
Most homebuyers start their search online these days, and it’s an invaluable timesaver. You can watch videos to tour properties and even visit some virtual open houses to get a better feel for the homes you’re considering. This can save you time by eliminating a few more options from your list, reducing the number of homes you’ll have to visit in person. It can also help you prioritize which houses to visit first.
The current real-estate market is hectic with a great deal of competition, and these tips will help give you an advantage as you begin the homebuying process.
If you’d like to get pre-approved for a mortgage, or if you need a recommendation for an experienced, local Realtor, please get in touch. We’d be happy to help in any way we can.