Not many people like to move in the middle of winter in Minnesota. But buying in January is actually a great time to buy because there are not nearly as many buyers shopping or making offers compared to spring and summer. Sales drop up to 80% between the middle of summer and the middle of winter. So now is the perfect time to get ready. Here are a few steps you can take right now so you are ready to buy in 2020.
1. Meet with a lender and get pre-approved for a home loan. Working with a great loan officer who can show you your options and get you pre-approved for a good loan will make your life so much easier during your transaction. You should leave the meeting with your loan officer knowing exactly what you need to do to finance the loan and what your options are. Once you have a clear understanding of how the loan works, how much money you need to bring to closing, what your monthly payments and total costs will be, then you can start shopping for a home.
2. Work with a great realtor. Working with a great buyers agent doesn't cost much, can save you a ton of money and will make your home buying experience a lot better. I have been lucky enough to have worked with over 300 buyers and sellers since 2013 and I have learned so much over the years. There are so many things I have seen happen in real estate transactions. I try to pass on my experience to buyers so they can make the best decisions for themselves. Things can go wrong and people make mistakes. It is critical to have an experienced agent touring houses with you who can spot problems with the property that you might have you missed and who also knows how to get your offer accepted. Buyers have a lot to think about throughout the home buying process. They have to search for a great house, get it under contract, get inspections, negotiate, coordinate with the lender, get all call their tax documents put together, and set up moving plans. If you have bought and sold many times, then you know how much a difference having a great agent makes to the transaction. Working with a great realtor really makes a lot of sense.
3. Start shopping. Figure out what you want in a home and where you want to live. Touring properties is the best way to learn the market so get out and start looking. Once you start to tour properties you will get a sense for what is a good deal and what is not and what is realistic in your price range. Then it is just a matter of deciding what house you want to buy. From my experience, most buyers know right away if they want to make an offer on a home.
So those are my three tips on how to get ready to buy a house in 2020. Best of luck out there!