The home-buying market hasn’t slowed down too much over the holidays and cold weather. Investors are still out there looking for opportunities to fix ‘n flip or buy and hold. First-time home-buyers are looking at town-homes and condos and, we hope (!) some people are moving up to higher prices and putting their $300k-$400k house on the market.
I asked Kevin Francis of The Francis Team at Horn Funding to expound on the merits of getting your financial life in order so the spring home-buying frenzy doesn’t leave buyers out in the cold (or the light spring rain we hope to have). Here are some of his thoughts:
- Check your credit score with a lender. Those online credit services don’t always use the FICO model of scoring and buyers are shocked when they see that their scores are lower.
- If your score needs a little help, get started now by getting advice as to how to do that.
- Learn the rules about depositing cash gifts, and moving money around NOW before you do it.
- Take time to think through purchase price and see what adding $10,000 to your offer will do to your payment.
- Check your assets, make sure you have documentation, and aren’t chasing papers at the last minute.
- Begin a relationship with a lender so they can get to know and advocate for you when making offers.
- Buying a house in this market requires planning and research. Start now. Go look at properties so you can make great decisions in the spring.
Sellers aren’t interested in a buyer who must scramble to get their finances together when they finally find their dream home. It can easily slip through a desperate buyer’s fingers. Home buying is still competitive in northern Colorado and only the most organized and confident can win. And it’s not only about how much down payment you can bring to the table. I had a client with an FHA loan (3.5% down) who had done their homework with a lender and they presented a united front. And they got the house!
So can you.