A New Home for a New Year

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The presents are open, the festivities have calmed, and the final hangovers are ending. It’s 2016. We’re now firmly foot first in a new year which means new opportunities, new goals, and fresh starts. It’s a great time to make plans, and work toward a better future, but it’s entirely too easy for all that fresh optimism to start wearing off like the buzz from that midnight campaign bottle at 2 in the morning. But that doesn’t mean you should just throw in the towel. Instead, you should cement your aspirations, and if home ownership is one of them, here’s how you can get started.

Why Buy

It’s proven that renting is a waste of your time and resources. Instead of pouring money into someone else’s bank account, you could be building your own future. Home ownership is one of the major contributing factors that led to the development and expansion of the American middle class. Indeed, it often became the price of admission. Though thousands, if not millions, of potential owners are turned off by the idea of home buying in the nation today – thanks in no small part to the recession and the burst of the housing bubble – home ownership is still a smart investment and the market is more friendly than it’s been in years making now a great time to jump in.

Exploring Your Options

As you’re getting started, it’s important to start exploring options that are unique to you and your own circumstances. Where do you want to live? What type of home would be right for you? What are your needs, and what can you afford? These are all important questions that you’ll have to ask for yourself. There are guides to help you narrow it down; like run downs of affordable cities, competitive markets, or tools to accurately determine factors such as how much house to buy or what loans to pursue. Just remember that no guide is a one size fits all, and that you need to do the research to make the right decision that works best for you.

Slaying the Dragon

A high percentage of potential home owners wash their hands of the whole idea specifically because they believe their credit isn’t good enough. Meanwhile, those whose credit isn’t terrible, but certainly not the best, overzealously jump in, and end up in homes with mortgages that are too high, and can quickly end up under water. The best way to approach home ownership is to neither give up or jump in too quickly, but to take your time to get your credit right. It really is that important to the process, and it’s shockingly easy to tank your score without even knowing it. There are ways to build up your credit score, and it’s absolutely something you should spend time doing because it could mean the difference between monthly payments that you can afford, and payments that leave you gasping for air.

Being Picky

Once you get your credit where you need it to be, and after you begin researching, it’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed. House hunting is a long, exhausting process, and many first time buyers make the mistake of signing on the dotted line of the first home that seems to meet their needs. One of the most important aspects of purchasing a home, however, is to keep looking and to keep your options open. As the buyer, you have a lot of the power, and you’ll be kicking yourself if you settled on something decent when you could have had something amazing. Take your time and scrutinize the details. Remember that home buying is a marathon not a race, and don’t let buyers place get the best of you!