The economic recovery continues aided by a robust property market, low interest rates and low down payments. For many Americans, 2015 is the first year since the great recession that buying property could become a reality. If this is you, reflect on a new buyer’s strategy (or four) that you may not have considered before.
1. Make a Good Impression
Your credit score is probably looking pretty good? But if you really want to ace it in the financing stakes, hold off on the big money acquisitions like a new car or any other major purchase. One of the factors that lenders will take into account is your debt-to-income ratio as this determines what amount of mortgage you can manage to pay for.
You should highlight elements that display your fiscal stability. Another buyer’s strategy is don’t become self-employed or change jobs; don’t move large sums of money around or change banks before buying a home.
2. Play Neighborhood Detective
Old advice says check out your new neighborhood at all hours of the day and night to get a complete overview. But a good buyer’s strategy says there’s nothing stopping you from doing some in-depth digging to find out if the neighborhood is on the up or slowly deteriorating.
A flourishing neighborhood will have young families, older couples (who’ll never be willingly to move) and small businesses like coffee shops and bistros. There’ll be great schools with good ratings and a healthy property market, both residential and commercial.
On the other hand, a neighborhood that’s deteriorating will be losing economic cornerstones. Businesses moving away or closing down, commercial space staying vacant, residences for-sale remaining on the market are all signs of a neighborhood in decline.
3. Record Keeping
Here’s a buyer’s strategy that could seem old-fashioned but it’s a classic. You’ve just completed a lightening round of home shopping, eleven properties in five days. Four of the homes were fabulous but the details are already starting to fade. Your tired brain is overloaded with information and individual home features are blending together
In a situation like this, keeping a pros-and-cons list of each home visited is a buyer’s strategy that will benefit you after the viewing is over. And starting your search with a list of the specific features you’re looking for in your ideal home keeps you on track.
4. Tap into the Power of Big Data
New technology gives agents access to better data that buyers can use. Talk to your agent about the new “livability” ratings offered by some agencies; a buyer’s strategy with a difference. These ratings rank and compare neighborhoods by air quality, traffic choke points and specific data on a home’s energy efficiency. The National Association of Realtors has introduced Predictive Analytics. Big Data allows banks the ability to measure the value of foreclosures and short sales. What trendy technology could you have access to?