Preparing to Buy a Home in 2023
Judie Docs, Executive Officer – CSP, MCSP, CGP, CMP, MIRM
North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA)
If 2023 is the year you’ve decided to purchase a new home – whether as a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner – the best time to start preparing is now. Following a few simple strategies will help place you in an ideal position to find a home that’s a good fit for you and your family.
Create a List of Must-haves
The best place to start if you are a first-time home buyer is to assess your needs, especially your future home location, size, and amenities. Even seasoned homeowners are attracted to idyllic home photos posted online, but the space may not meet their needs. Prioritizing must-haves will help you save significant time in the home buying process. Most home buyers will need to compromise on some home features to fit their budget.
Double Check Your Credit Score
Even if you’ve purchased a home previously, stricter credit requirements can be challenging for some buyers to find home loans. However, a favorable credit score can make a difference in your ability to be approved for a loan. Credit monitoring is always a good idea, even if you think nothing has changed recently on your credit report. If you are preparing to purchase a home, monitoring your credit will ensure you aren’t being unfairly penalized for old debts, which can sometimes linger on credit reports. Generally, borrowers with scores in the low 600s and even high 500s can still find lenders who will qualify them, but borrowers should strive for scores in the mid- to upper-700s to secure the best rate.
Determine What You Can Afford
Don’t let your maximum loan approval amount dictate your home-buying budget. You are the best person to determine what you can realistically afford. Experts say that your monthly home expenses should not exceed one-third of your gross monthly income. You’ll also need to determine how much you’ll need to cover any loan fees and closing costs.
Sell Your Current Home
If buying a new home is contingent on selling your current home, it’s a good idea to connect with your realtor sooner rather than later. An experienced realtor can advise you on the best strategy for selling your home at the right time and for the best price possible. In addition, you’ll want to identify any maintenance issues in your home and address them. You can also ask your realtor if upgrading your current home will generate a return on your investment.
For more information on home-buying, contact the NCBIA. The North Coast Building Industry Association is your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of services available to help you in the future as well as more information on the above topic. So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at www.ncbia.com or call 440-934-1090. We also have a job posting board (under the Industry tab).
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