Things to Do if You’re Thinking About Moving:
Are you planning to sell your home in the future? Are you overwhelmed with where to start in your preparation? We can help!
The top three areas of a home that typically get the most attention from prospective buyers are the kitchen, bathroom(s), and main family room. So in preparing to sell your home, you will want to focus most of your efforts on those areas. At a minimum, plan on decluttering, depersonalizing, and cleaning.
We always suggest spending the money on professional deep cleaning. You want every surface of your home to shine – so make sure that grout is scrubbed, the windows sparkle, and the floors and countertops gleam. Buyers will have a tough time looking past crumbs and dog hair to see the real potential of your home.
Think of decluttering as simply pre-packing for the move. This is one less thing that you’ll need to do once your house sells. Set your timer and declutter for short set periods, so the task seems less daunting. Keep in mind that many local charities will happily come and pick up anything you wish to donate.
It’s also very important to depersonalize your home so prospective buyers can imagine themselves living in it instead of you. This means removing all personal photos and mementos, including diplomas and kids’ trophies.
Do you imagine owning your own home someday? Perhaps you see yourself in an urban condo or maybe it’s a single-family home in the ‘burbs. Whatever your idea of homeownership is, now is the time to start planning for it. While you may not be ready to buy now (hello, student loans), there are plenty of steps you can take today to turn your dream into reality. By taking some immediate action and dedicating to budgeting and saving, you can achieve your dreams of homeownership — perhaps even earlier than you think!
This is the time to think long and hard about your personal finances. Ask yourself these important questions — and answer honestly:
- How much can you spend monthly on rent or a mortgage?
- How much upfront cash can you come up with to buy a property (down payment + closing costs)?
- How much can you save per month to put towards a future purchase?
Start a Conversation with a Lender
You’ll want to have an early conversation with a lender as well. If you need suggestions, we have some great ones! We’re happy to connect you. You’ll want to meet with a lender so they can see if there are any financial obstacles to buying a home. For example, do you need to pay student loans down to a specific number or percent of your income? Your debt to income ratio may need improvement. Similarly, do you need to strengthen your credit score?
You will also want to review the answers to the three questions above with your lender. They will use this information to determine your current options if you were to buy a home today and the outlook after a year of the new savings plan. It’s important to note here that interest rates can change and likely will again before you buy, which will affect your purchasing power.
Another great way to see what you need to do from a savings perspective is to show your lender a few properties you like. They will then work backward and give you a sense of the required cash outlay and mortgage payment.
Save, save, save. It’s never too early to start saving. Make a budget and stick to it. Beat it if possible. Chances are, you will need to spend more than you anticipate, and the more cash you have on hand post-closing, the happier you’ll be. Think about how you can add as much per month as possible to your new account. For example, cut out your daily Starbucks habit. If you’re spending $5 every workday on Starbucks, that’s an easy $100 per month!
After you’ve talked to a lender, opened your account, and have thought through your savings plan, schedule a time to meet with us again. We will regroup and talk about the next steps on your path to homeownership.