Where to Start when Wanting to Move
1) Answer “WHY”. There are many reasons for moving… need a bigger home, would prefer a smaller home, want to be in a different part of town, job relocation, financially related, divorce, marriage and the list goes on. I always ask my clients “why”. The reasons will help determine best course of action and lay out proper expectations. Buying a first home is much different than the ‘forever’ home or inside a retirement community. Establishing ALL the reasons why a move is needed/wanted will ensure the end result is successful. If someone wants to move just because all their friends are and they feel like they’re being left behind… that may not be reason enough to move right now.
2) Define the Household Budget. I always ask what a comfortable monthly budget number is for mortgage payment + HOA. Just because someone may qualify for a $400,000 loan does not necessarily mean they can afford it in real life. Each household will have different spending habits. More often with first time home buyers, we see that there is no household budget in place so many may be unsure about what’s affordable. Also, if you’re relying on online marketing sites to give you a realistic monthly payment… think again. These usually do not calculate property taxes, homeowner’s insurance or mortgage insurance for those that are obtaining loans with it. Also, interest rate will vary by state, lender and individual credit picture. If you do not have a household budget or want some tips on creating one, I’d be happy to share.
3) Pre-Move Consultation. It’s now time to sit down together. For a Buyer, that usually means in our office where we will discuss your goals, time frames & questions while providing insight into the process, market trends & conditions and laying out next steps. If you’re selling a home, whether buying another right after or not, we need to meet at the home in question. This will allow me to walk through asking some questions and assessing various features to determine current market value along with sale-ability. We too, will cover market conditions, your goals and establish a game plan. Also, knowing your potential net proceeds from sale will help with item #4 below.
4) Lender Pre-Qualification. One of the most critical components is ensuring financing is lined up with no potential road hazards up ahead. You want this peace of mind before putting your existing home on the market and when buying, the official Pre-Qual letter is our ticket to go view homes for sale. This process is quick and straightforward. Usually within 48-72 hours your file can even be looked at by underwriting for a more thorough diligence up front. If you do not already have a lender in mind, we can certainly refer you to whom many of our clients have utilized over the years.
5) Execute the Game Plan. Based upon your reasons “why”, your budget, our assessment during the consultation and then the financing pre-qualification, we should be in position to launch. This might mean preparing your existing home for sale, scheduling marketing on it to get listed right away, a scouting mission for the buy side or otherwise. Regardless, I am here to be a guide every step of the way.