5 Things To Consider Before Buying A Home In 2021

The rise of coronavirus last year stopped the world as we know it. Millions of people were forced to stay in their homes, businesses and people lost the ability to run, with some even having to close their doors permanently, hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost, and the world was sent into turmoil. That’s not to mention the effect the pandemic has had on the real estate business. Due to the dangers of visiting other people in their properties, people looking to move or sell their homes have been unable to do so. That is, until recently. 

Government guidelines have permitted that providing people can maintain a safe distance when showing or viewing properties, that people can continue to buy and sell properties. If you’re looking to buy a home in 2021, you may be wondering what you need to know and the steps you need to take. Here’s a guide to help you through this weird time.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Home

Look into virtual tours

Regardless of whether or not you plan on viewing or showing your home with other people around, there are still risks involved that could mean contracting or passing on the virus. Real estate agents have adapted to this idea and set up the chance to conduct virtual home tours, and this is something that you should consider doing. While it’s not the same as physically being in the property, you’re still able to get a feel of what the home looks like, where you can place furniture, and also areas you’d like improved.

There’s also nothing stopping you driving by the house you’ve viewed virtually to get a feel of its curb appeal. The way the outside of the building makes you feel is just as important as how you feel about the décor and layout on the inside. Real estate agents also provide exact measurements of each room and some may even provide you with a floor plan.

Virtual tours also mean that you don’t have to worry about booking a particular time slot to view the property, and you can view it as your leisure, not having to worry about work or childcare commitments. Speak to your real estate agent today about virtual tours.

Understand your budget

With the state of the economy right now, it’s important to really understand what kind of budget you can afford. Moving right now may be more expensive due to longer waiting times and higher fees, but it’s still totally doable! Use this basic loan calculator to find out what an idea budget is for you and your family, and whether or not it’s best to hold off for a little while before buying a property.

Working out a budget means factoring absolutely everything, from the price of the mortgage per month right down to the small fee you pay for a magazine subscription. Work out – to as exact as you can – how much your outgoings will be per month and refer this to your incoming. If you’re earning more than enough to support this then great! If not, there may be other options for you to look at such as a loan from the bank, or even cutting out non essentials such as a television subscription and a gym membership that you could live without for the time being.

Look at house prices

Now for some great news! Thanks to the dip in the economy, many people have been forced to lower the asking price of their properties, meaning that house prices may be at an all time low while you’re looking to buy. However, if you’re selling your home first, this could be a hindrance to your plan.

It’s also worth noting that house prices may be completely different depending on where you live. If you live (or would like to live – like check out Homes for sale in Maricopa AZ in an area that’s well sought after, the availability of properties may push prices up, meaning you’ll have to rethink your budgeting plan. 

So, while the price benchmark could go either way, it’s up to you to do some prior research on how much you can expect to pay for a house this year. Of course, you could use some haggling skills to bring prices down a little, but overall it’s not going to make much of a difference.

Beige home with white trim with for sale sign in yard Things To Consider Before Buying A Home

Build up your credit score

The truth is, if your credit score is great, you have a high chance of snagging a super low mortgage rate, and with lenders looking to approve well trusted customers, you’ll have lenders fighting over who you’re going to borrow money from. This may change throughout the course of 2021, and there’s no predicting when this will happen. That’s why, it’s important to continue improving or maintaining your credit score.

Is your credit score looking a little sad? Here are some tips to build it back up:

  • Pay for bills on time.
  • Start paying off your debts. You can speak to the lender and work out some sort of payment plan, which may eliminate interest charged or give you longer to pay without harming your credit score too much.
  • Get a credit card. This might seem backhanded, but if lenders don’t know who you are due to a lack of lending and building up trustability, they will see your credit score as very low. Getting a credit card and making payments on time will help boost your visibility, therefore increasing the chances of lenders approving your application.
  • Register on the electoral roll. Again, this will help lenders gather information about you and could help your applications be approved.
  • Unlink yourself from family members. If your credit score is linked to a current or ex spouse, this could dramatically bring down your credit score. You can change this by checking your details on websites like Experian or Clear Score to make sure that your score is only showing your financial habits.
  • Ask for payment holidays. If you’re trying to pay off debts so that you can obtain a low mortgage rate, then you may be able to ask for a payment holiday on your credit card or mortgage without damaging your credit score.

As you can see, there are a plethora of ways in which you can build up your credit score – some of which you can do within the space of a day!

Save as big of a deposit as you can

If you’re worried about house prices and the affordability of a mortgage, you can put down a large deposit to bring down the mortgage rates. Most lenders will require at least a twenty percent deposit before any agreement is made, but there’s no limit on how much you can pay upfront. Anything less than this may incur extra costs along the line that you simply cannot afford.

Finally, do some research on how much you’ll need to borrow as a loan so that you can find out how much of a down payment you will need to save up for. If a family member or friend has promised money as a gift to help you get onto the property ladder, find out how much they’re willing to contribute and obtain a gift letter from them well in advance.

If you’ve got this far and you’re still confident that buying a home in 2021 is right for you, then good luck on your journey! Remember to stay safe, follow government guidelines and have some patience as none of this will happen in the blink of an eye. It’ll be worth the wait!

Libby

Married for eons, mom of 10, Nonnie to 26 with a great grand coming soon, to add to the mix. Avid reader and photo taker, scrapbook queen and jewelry maker. Collector of dishes, planners and pens. Lover of animals, chocolate and spends…long hours soaking in the spa tub (with a fully charged tablet, diet soda, and grub). She’s worn lots of hats, tossed most to the wind, and doesn’t mind starting all over again. Every day is a new adventure…come along for the ride!

Libby has 4378 posts and counting. See all posts by Libby

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