5 Tips to Buying a Home in Today's Market

Have dreams of homeownership? With ever-increasing prices, fluctuating rates, and a long list of lending options, it can be challenging to navigate your way into your first or next home. We have 5 tips to help you get there. 

1. Get Pre-approved

A pre-approved home loan lets buyers know you are serious and have the funding needed to buy. 

2. Prioritize Wants vs Needs

Figure out what you want vs. need. Do you want to be in a specific school district? Do you need a big backyard? It may mean compromising on other home wants such as hardwood floors or stainless steel appliances, which could be addressed later. What are you willing to compromise? Having a clear idea will help in the home buying process. 

3. Budget for More than Principal and Interest in Your Monthly Payment

When you set a budget, make sure you include more expenses than just the monthly mortgage payment, down payment and closing costs. If the new home has a Homeowner Association (HOA), you’ll need to budget for the monthly or annual fees. Plus, there are the costs for insurance, property tax, utilities, and upkeep including pest control, lawn care and more. 

4. Make a Strong Offer

In a seller’s market or when there are more buyers than there are available homes, it may be necessary to make full-price offers. Don’t miss out on your dream home because you failed to make a strong opening offer. If you find a home you love in the right location and price range, don’t wait to make an offer or try to lowball sellers. Buyers should be ready to submit a fair offer quickly, or they may risk missing out on the home altogether.

5. Understand Your Breakeven Point if Considering Buying Down Your Rate

If you plan to stay in the home for a long time, buying points with cash to lower the interest rate on your loan can make sense. Look at how many years it will take to break even with the rate buy-down. If you will move before that time, don’t buy the points.

Connect with Our Mortgage Team

Our PAHO/WHO FCU professionals are here to help you finance your first or next home. Call 202-974-3453 ext. 5598, or send us an email to lending@pahofcu.org to schedule a time that works for you.