Shopping for a Home this Spring: Map Out Your Journey

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Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2019 12:00 am

(StatePoint) Spring is here, which means the weather is warming, there’s more daylight, flowers are popping up… and so are “For Sale” signs in yards nationwide.

In fact, 40 percent of annual home sales happen between the start of spring and the start of summer, according to the National Association of Realtors, and more than 2 million people are expected to buy a home this spring.

The process of buying a home can be thought of in the same way as taking a spring break road trip. You have to map out your journey, create a playlist, and assemble your co-pilots. To make your journey less stressful and more successful, the experts at Freddie Mac are offering the following tips:

Mapping Out a Plan

Before hitting the road, get a lay of the land by understanding the current market. The median home price is $249,500, up 3.6 percent from last year. It is also useful to know that there is 3.5 months of housing inventory on the market, which means supply is low. What does all this mean for you? Competition is high, rates are historically low and generally the market is holding steady.

Make Your Playlist

Like having the perfect soundtrack for a road trip, buying a home requires building a “homebuying playlist” of sorts and the order of the playlist matters. Getting familiar with the essential homebuying concepts -- ahem playlist tracks -- such as down payments, credit scores, pre-approval letters and closing costs, can help you enjoy smoother sailing (and maybe even dancing). To learn more, visit freddiemac.com/blog.

Assemble Your Co-Pilots

A road trip is no fun with the wrong people. Be sure to pack your car with trusted professionals who’ll help you avoid bumps in the road.

If this is your first time hitting the road, you may want the company of a housing counselor, whose services are often available at little or no cost and can help assess your financial situation and educate you on the process.

Other people to invite with you on your journey include your lender, responsible for helping you secure the best financing options for your situation, a home inspector who can spot problems with the property, a closing agent, who will oversee the closing or “settlement” of your loan and help you avoid closing day jitters, and last but not least, your real estate agent, who rides shotgun. Your realtor should be at your side helping you navigate and readily available to answer all your questions throughout the journey.

Get to know your team well and ask questions. It’s their job to support you on this adventure. To learn more about other professionals who will be involved, visit myhome.freddiemac.com.

If all goes as planned, at the end of your road trip, you will be a homeowner. But remember, half the journey is getting there, so keep your eyes on the road and stay focused.

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Photo Credit: (c) pantovich / stock.Adobe.com