You’ve been thinking about moving and suddenly you’re noticing “Open House” signs on every corner. While it’s tempting to want to shop for a home this way, experts in the sizzling hot Denver market warn that it’s important to first be prepared.
“People feel like, ‘Oh, let’s go look, see if we find something we like and then see if we can afford it,” one broker told the Denver Post. “In this market, you can’t do that. It will be gone before you figure that out.”
Buying a home in the Denver metro area can be challenging, and experts note that laying the proper groundwork before starting your home search is critical.
Here are 5 things brokers suggest, as reported by the Post.
1. Take a homebuyer class. Some people are required to take Colorado Housing and Finance-approved classes to obtain financing. But even if you’ll have no problem getting financed, education is important. Look for free classes and workshops that cover topics such as loan types, how to avoid foreclosure, working with a real estate agent and more.
2. Study your financial situation: Order a credit report to see where you stand and to check for any errors; it can take several weeks to correct mistakes, notes the Post. Also, be realistic about what you can afford. Homeownership comes with extra expenses that you don’t encounter renting; be sure and factor in maintenance costs, for example.
3. Hire a real estate broker. In Denver’s fast-paced market, you don’t have the luxury of learning from your mistakes. Hire a real estate agent. Ask friends and family who they have used and liked, and be sure the agent works regularly in your target market so that he or she understands the nuances of the area. Finally, don’t hire anyone who doesn’t inspire your trust.
4. Get a pre-approved mortgage: This allows you to know how much home you can afford and assures the seller that a lender has verified your income, looked at your debts and other factors and has deemed you eligible for a certain level of mortgage.
5. Adjust your mindset. In this competitive market, you will most likely put in offers on many homes before landing a deal. Be prepared for rejection, remain open-minded and remember that there are tradeoffs with any home. “There’s no perfect home out there,” notes one broker, “you have to make a compromise on something.”