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Next up: home price trends. In November 2020, existing home prices grew by a whopping 15% compared to last year—rising to a national median of well over $300,000! This marks more than 100 straight months of year-over-year price gains.4 Sellers, this should put a big smile on your face! And hang tight, buyers—we have some advice for you too. If you’re going to buy a home in this expensive market, you absolutely must find out how much house you can really afford. Commit to staying within that budget amount no matter how much pressure you feel watching competitors pluck good homes off the market.
Break Down Your Income & Expenses: Credit for this one goes to user GeekLimit on Reddit – one of my favorite personal finance tips! This is an odd little trick that can change the perspective you have about your money, and help you budget better. It’s all about breaking your income and expenses down into daily values, like this: You make $2,500/month = ~$83/day. You pay $800/month for rent = ~$27/day. You pay $200/month for car insurance = ~$7/day. Everything else (food, phone, gas, etc.) comes to $750/month = ~$25/day. That means you’re left with $24/day in spending money. Want to save $1,000 for a nice vacation? You’ll have to save about 42 days worth of your spending money. That means 42 days of not spending a dime. Want to buy a new $10,000 car? That’s about 416 days worth of your spending money. This will help you see how far purchases are going to set you back and affect your spending ability.
Before you get too excited, or worried that time is running out, it might actually be in your favor to slow play this one. Per Zillow, the best time to buy a home may be in late summer, including the months of August and September. Basically, you’ve got the slow, cold months at the start of the year where there isn’t much inventory, followed by the strong spring housing market where everyone and their mother wants to buy. Then you get a lull and perhaps even a dip in home prices during summer, which could be an attractive entry point. You might even get lucky and snag a price cut with a lot less competition while other prospective buyers are on vacation. That being said, get pre-approved NOW and set up your alerts for new listings ASAP and just be ready to pounce whenever.
This should be a necessity for anyone who is buying real estate. You don’t want to buy a home that has a crack in the foundation or needs a new roof. A home inspection can spot these and other things that are wrong with the house, which gives you far more negotiating power, and it gives you a reasonable idea of what to expect in terms of expenses for the future. What type of storage space does the estate have? Is it a luxury home with plenty of space, or is it going to be a tight squeeze when you move all of your stuff in? This is important as you begin your home search, you want to set proper expectations for how much room you’ll really need. Find additional information on https://www.chicagorentclub.com/.
After narrowing the search to 2 or 3 homes, your agent will do whatever research is necessary to aid you in making your decision. Ultimately, however, it is your decision. Some tools that can help you make that final decision include school reports (if you have or are planning on having children), statistical information from the local chamber of commerce, future zoning or road expansion from local planning offices, etc. Whatever the factors of importance are to you, have your agent help locate that information. Once you have selected a single home to focus on, your agent will conduct a comparative market analysis on that property. This involves determining “fair market value” by looking at what other buyers were willing to pay for properties similar to yours in the same neighborhood or area.