Goal 2014 - Buy a house...

If you are up sizing, down sizing or buying your first home, use this simple checklist to stay on track for your 2014 Goal of buying a house...

I recently signed up for 43things.com and thought it would be a great tool for managing your check list to a successful home purchase and sale.  I'm a big fan of checklists, they are a good reminder of what you need to do AND what you've already accomplished.  I'd love to hear from someone who is using this web site to track their progress on my home moving checklist.

Visit me at MariaBarr.com for facts and opinions about real estate, buying a home and selling a home :)

1)  Get pre-qualified for a mortgage - even if you're not moving for 3 months or more, have a lender pre-qualify you now.  Many people don't realize they have little dings (and/or inaccurate information) on their credit report.  Don't wait until you are writing an offer on your dream home to discover these items which could take a month or more to repair or remove.

2)  Plan your timeline.  If you want to be in the new house before school starts, for instance, put August 15th on your timeline as an ideal closing date and work backward from there.  In general, it takes 6-8 weeks for a closing so plan to select your home by the middle of June in order to comfortably close by your target date.

3)  If you are selling - START EARLY!!  I can tell you from *second hand experience, there is nothing more depressing than finding the perfect home for your family and then finding you are unable to execute because your house is unsold.

*I don't need to personally be incredibly upset and frustrated to know its not a good thing.

4)  Budget your purchase - based in part on the sale price of your home.  Another reason to start early, if you don't know how much you're getting, its hard to know how much you can give.  Avoid the frustration and disappointment of setting your heart on a move up home out of your price range by knowing ahead of time what you will net from the sale of your current home.  This step goes hand in hand with step 1 so work on them together.

5)  Pick an agent to represent you.  OK, I'm an agent, so this may seem somewhat biased BUT if you are serious about making this move and your time is valuable to you then work with an agent who understands what you want.  I've seen people skip this step because they had a difficult time finding the right person or didn't want to commit to someone but this is a mistake.  

Maria Barr blog buy a house.jpg

Its like planning your own, very large, wedding.  Imagine that working with a wedding planner isn't going to cost you anything and that expert on weddings had access to inside info and discounts on bands, venues, invitations, flowers, the dress etc.  They know what the going rate is and can let you know if you are being charged too much.  They have years of experience in timing the ordering, reservations and rehearsals and can advise you.  If something goes wrong, they can work with you to fix it quickly.

Why wouldn't you avail yourself of all that free expertise?