January and February is the time of year when we start getting lots of phone calls, text messages and emails from home buyers who plan to buy in the summer. Even though they are 6 months away from being ready to buy a home, they feel like they should be doing something now, to prepare. They just aren't sure what it is that they should be doing. 

Lets start by quickly "deconstructing" the home buying process backwards from that date of moving into your new home, so we know what are critical timelines are throughout the process:

  • We'll start with the assumption that you want to be at the CLOSING TABLE AND MOVED IN sometime in the June/July timeframe
  • Since we know it takes 30-45 days to get to the closing table, and sometimes the seller needs to stay in the home for a little while after closing, we will want to have your OFFER ACCEPTED no later than early May to ensure we have the time to get to the closing table and get occupancy in that June/July timeframe
  • The typical buyer in this market, with inventory of homes for sale still being low, takes on average 30-60 days to fine their home. Sometimes it happens quicker, and that's great! But we need to allocate enough time to search for homes in case it takes 30-6- days like it typically does. This means we will want to start SEARCHING FOR HOMES no later than late March/Early April to ensure we have the time needed to find the right home for you. 

So when you put the timeframe for buying a new home in the context of what we outlined below, suddenly it isn't that far away. We are literally just a few months away from needing to be ready to start hitting the streets and searching for homes. 

So, what do we need to be doing right now?

  1. Get pre-approved for your mortgage. Taking this step now, even though you won't be ready to actually make offers until the spring ensures that we have enough time to work out any unexpected issues such as boosting your credit score, saving additional money for down payment and closing costs, or paying off existing debt needed to qualify for the mortgage.  You may not need to do any of those things. But if you do, we want to know now so that we have time to get those issues resolved and still meet our timeline of closing and moving in during the summer. It also ensures that you will know exactly what you can afford in terms of purchase price so that we set the proper search criteria from day 1.
  2. Let us set you up with an MLS search. This is a great way for you to start browsing what's available on the market even though you aren't quite ready to look at homes just yet. We will tailor the search to meet your specific criteria in terms of price, neighborhoods, and amenities. You'll be able to get a head start on educating yourself about the current market and narrowing down your search to what you like and don't like.
  3. Attend open houses and do "drive-by's". As homes come across your MLS search that look intriguing to you, getting in the car and driving by those homes to check out the neighborhoods is a great way to really get laser-focused on which neighborhoods you like, and which ones you dislike. Likewise, attending open houses on the weekend is a great way for you to get out there and tour the inside of homes for sale even though you aren't ready to buy. You'll start to get a feel for what style homes, and what types of floorplans and layouts you like and don't like. And by the time March/April rolls around, you'll be an expert on specific neighborhoods and specific styles of homes you are looking for. This will put you at an advantage over other buyers who are just getting started figuring all that out.  


Ready to learn more about how we can put the perfect plan together for you to buy a home this summer? Contact Brian and we'll schedule a 20-30 minute appointment to get you started on the right path.