PREPARING FOR YOUR NEXT HOME IN 3 SIMPLE STEPS
By Jennifer Young
Getting the itch to move? You bought your home a few years ago and now you’re ready to move up into something larger, newer, or maybe you just prefer to be in a different area of town. Many homeowners are just like you and they don’t know where to start. Well, you are in luck! My family and I just went through this exact process and I am happy to share my tips and advice to hopefully help your process go smoother.
We loved our home and its location but we were ready for a change, so the idea of a move was bittersweet. It was our first house together and lots of memories had been shared in that home, but we knew it was time to move on up! As a Realtor, I am always seeing new homes and finding new areas to consider for myself. We found a particular neighborhood that peaked our interest, and kept our eye on it for a while. We knew it was the right place when we kept finding ourselves driving around the community, checking it out on the way to dinner, or just passing through. We also knew we wanted to build our next home, so it was all about timing, since we had to sell our current house first.
So where do you start?
The first step is to call your local Realtor. They can assist with a market analysis of your current home, so you know what it’s worth. Nest Realty provides quarterly and annual market reports that give valuable insight into the value of homes in your area. Click to view the .
Beyond knowing the value of your home, you can always pick the Realtor’s brain for improvement ideas and advice on how to prepare your home for sale. They may be able to suggest simple things that will increase the value of your home, or instruct you to remove any personal items that aren’t part of the home sale. In my case, we didn’t remove an eye-catching chandelier that we planned on bringing to our new home…and guess what?! It nearly became the deal breaker! It was a great light fixture, but wasn’t a family heirloom, nor did it hold sentimental value, so we left it behind, and simply ordered a new one for our new house. But we learned a lesson that even the smallest things can nearly make a deal fall apart. So make sure you prep your home BEFORE putting it on the market! Move forward with any updates, improvements, or removal of personal items before that sign goes in the yard.
The next important step is to call your mortgage lender. They will be able to run your financial numbers for a loan. You want to make sure you are qualified and ready to buy before you try to sell your home. You may also want to discuss if you can close on a new home before actually closing on your old one. This way you avoid having to do a contingency on the home of your dreams. There are many loan programs available, and between your Realtor and the lender, they will have one that works perfect for you. When you are building new construction, that can be a totally different animal. If you are buying a lot, then building, some builders allow you to do a land package closing, while other may require you to purchase the lot first. We had to do a construction/perm loan. This loan allows for you to purchase the lot separately, close, and then you have an interest only loan for your new build. The Builder will take set draws out on your loan as they go through the construction stages, then once it’s complete, you have a paper signing closing to switch the loan over to a standard conventional or whatever type you decided on with your lender. This style of loan does require you to have much more cash in the bank and a heavier down payment unlike some of the other low down payment loan programs available. If you need a recommendation for local area lenders that you can trust and ask questions to find out which loan is best for you, I am happy to send you some names.
Congratulations, you are now ready to sell, and you know what you can afford!
The third step I recommend is for you to scout out your favorite areas and neighborhoods. Get to know where you would want to live, so your Realtor can then start looking for available homes and in your price point. Using a Realtor for the buying side is a free bonus. As a buyer, it doesn’t cost you anything, and that Realtor is representing you. In Wilmington, our market is pretty tight on inventory. One of the many perks of working with a local Realtor is that they sometimes have the inside scoop on a new listing before it actually hits the market. If you are looking to build new construction, choose a Realtor that has knowledge in the process. It seems easy on the outside, but it is very handy to have someone with experience looking out for your best interest along the way. It can be a six to eight month process, and worth having an expert on your side.
With just these three steps checked off, you will be ahead of the curve. Going in blind can leave you frustrated and feeling disappointed. There is nothing worse then looking for homes and finding out you can’t afford the move. This is just the beginning of your moving adventure but hopefully these very easy tips will help make it a fun and exciting time and instead of headache and heartache.
Ready to begin the fist step? ! With over 15 years of experience with listings, resales and new construction, I would love to help you when you are ready to move on up.
Jennifer Young is a Broker with . Jennifer loves the fresh and contemporary approach toward selling, marketing, and community outreach that she is able to provide being a part of Nest Realty. She enjoys her work and sharing that passion with her clients.
Photo Credit: Light Fixutre: Darla دارلا Hueske