It’s officially 2017! Happy New Year to all!  This January, many of us are planning and setting goals for everything we want to do and achieve in the year to come. If buying a house is on your “to do” list this year, now is also the time to begin preparing. It may seem early, but from January to April is not that long.

Here are some tips to help you get on track to reach your 2017 home buying resolution:

  • Select a qualified and trusted real estate agent: At Coldwell Banker, we have a network of knowledgeable, trustworthy agents. Our agents understand the local market and can help you find all the information and resources you need to get started. Researching on your own is important, and using free online tools is a great way to start. However, meeting with an agent will ensure you don’t miss any important steps along the way. The best part about the Coldwell Banker network is that if the home you want is in another county or area, an agent can refer you to another great agent. Coldwell Banker will be there for your from the beginning to the end.
  • Create your “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” list: Easier said than done, right?  But it’s next to impossible to find a home with everything.  You’ll need to think about your lifestyle needs and prioritize the non-negotiable home accommodations, such as a bedroom for each family member, over items you may want such as a large master suite. Everyone’s list is different, but knowing your “must-haves” in advance will help you stay focused. With this in mind, you need to remember to not expect a palace when you have the budget for a shack. Sure, every once and a while a great deal will hit the market and be snatched up in a second, but that doesn’t mean it will be in pristine condition. You might need to make renovations to make your home truly yours.
  • Determine your budgetBe realistic about what is affordable. Usually, the larger the home the larger the monthly payments. An agent can help you find comparable home prices and hone in on approximately how much the payments will be.  You should also plan to get pre-approved for a mortgage using our in-house mortgage consultants. Doing this prior to house hunting will let you know how much money you qualify for, and how much you can afford. You’ll also be able to figure out which mortgage type is best for you. This is extremely important because you don’t want to fall in love with a home that is out of your price range. You might end up comparing everything your expensive dream home has but not think about the price tag that comes with those items.
  • Identify the perfect “location, location, location”Everyone has heard this phrase before, and while the surrounding neighborhood and home itself may improve over time, the physical location will remain the same. Determine in advance how close you would like to live to work, schools, or extended family. A short commute to work, proximity to family, or having easy access to highways will often be items for your “must-haves” list. This is especially true in the Nevada County area. There are so many diverse parts of the county that you need to figure out ahead of time what you are looking for. Do you want to be alone on level land or in town? These are all things that you need to think about before you start looking at homes.

We hope your year is off to a great start. If you’re starting your home search in 2017, we’d love to hear what you’re doing to get the home search process started. Need help finding a place? Give a Coldwell Banker agent a call today!