Make the American Dream happen in 2024 by being realistic

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If 2024 is the year when your biggest wish is to make buying a home a reality, Realtor.com’s Lisa Marie Conklin offers some suggestions in her “while you wait” strategy that can only benefit you in the long run.

“Home shoppers fall prey to a faux pas or two when making what’s likely the most significant purchase of their lives, especially in today’s brutal housing market,” says Conklin. She goes on to ask that you consider a “home buying reset” if things have not gone in your favor in days past. That means getting rid of bad habits at the outset.

Bad habit: Shopping for a home above your price range. It’s tempting to eye houses that would stretch or even break your budget when you can’t find anything in online listings that even catches your attention. Still, conjecture on how you might be able to swing it could create a cash flow crisis for your budget. If your real estate agent is pushing you toward it, you might need to find another agent. It’s his or her job to be your advocate, not your devil’s advocate.

And remember — there are additional upfront costs like inspections, appraisals, HOA fees, utility deposits, and closing costs that can add thousands to your bottom line. Conklin admonishes, “So kick the habit of browsing homes beyond your budget by challenging yourself to discover hidden gems within your financial comfort zone.”

Bad habit: creating more debt while you wait. Sure. It’s easy to lick your wounds by buying that new car because you can’t buy the home you thought you’d be living in by now. “But splurging on certain things can get homebuyers into hot water. A new pair of kicks? Go for it. A new set of wheels? Not so much,” says Conklin. She cites the example of adding a monthly payment of $325 to your budget. At the onset it doesn’t sound like much. But when you realize a lender looks at it as an amount that will lower your loan approval amount by $50,000, you might stop before you sign on that dotted line. Hold off on buying that new car or financing that new furniture until later — after your agent hands you the keys to your new house.

Bad habit: Getting too picky about houses that present minor repairs or cosmetic issues. Unless you’re buying new construction, a home with no “issues” is extremely rare. 1970s carpet can be replaced with luxury vinyl flooring. Lime green walls can turn a shade of soothing “gray-beige.” And those bathroom fixtures can transform with a trip to Home Depot. Someone else made that house theirs, and now it will be time to make the changes that make it yours. If the home issues are a bit more complex, get a contractor to give you an estimate on fixing what you dislike. You can also ask the seller to leave you a credit in escrow for some of the items that must be changed right away.

Bad habit That sectional in the perfect configuration for movie-watching may not fit into houses that are otherwise good choices for you. Consider a new way to handle this hurdle, as unique or sentimental as the furniture is. A china cabinet that doesn’t fit in the dining room might be repurposed in a generously sized home office. An oversized dining table or king-sized bed may have fit into your rentals or homes of the past, but you bought them for an existing layout. Says one real estate professional Conklin consulted: “It may never look good in the new space, no matter how hard you try to make it fit—so marry the house and divorce the sofa.”

Bad habit: Playing musical chairs with real estate agents. As Billy Joel once famously lyricized, “It’s a Matter of Trust.” Working with a few agents to scope out as many houses as possible in a competitive market might seem way to beat the system, but all real estate agents have access to the same multiple listing services, meaning you might have different agents showing you the same property. Instead, interview a few of them and then choose one.

Then make out a list for them that is detailed and thorough to specify what you are looking for. List deal breakers as well. You can always go separate ways if you don’t feel you are being served properly.

Realtor, TBWS


All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.

Paramount Residential Mortgage Group
Corporate NMLS ID:  75243
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Brian Voytko

Mortgage Advisor

NMLS: #437292

The Mortgage Whiz

Company NMLS: 338923

Cell: 215-407-3832

Email: BVoytko@PRMG.net

Web: http://www.mtgwhiz.com

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Brian Voytko

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Mortgage Advisor

NMLS: #437292

Cell: 215-407-3832


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