If you’re hoping to buy a home in 2024, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do now to give yourself a bit of a head start. The good news is there are a few items you can cross off your list before the year ends. When it comes to buying a home, it’s never too early to start thinking about your purchasing plans. Here are some of the tasks we recommend you take on now, so you can start 2024 strong.
Examine the 2024 market outlook
Now that we’re approaching the tail end of 2023, there are more and more predictions about how the market will look in 2024. For the most part, experts are in agreement that interest rates have finished climbing. This means the next time rates move, they should start trending downward. We don’t know exactly when this will happen, but a common estimate is mid to late 2024. Of course, there is also the likelihood that we will enter a recession next year. This will tend to lower demand for housing, meaning buyers will have fewer competitors in the market. While we can’t be certain of how next year’s market will shape up, you can use these predictions to start thinking about how you might fit into the market.
Get pre-qualified for a mortgage
A mortgage pre-qualification is essential for buying a home in 2024. This process reveals some key information about your financial situation. You can use this information to guide your home search and future mortgage application. As a reminder, a pre-qualification is not a guarantee of mortgage financing. Rather, it is a process that shows what you might qualify for in mortgage financing, based on your current finances. If your circumstances change, your mortgage approval amount may change as well. However, we recommend getting pre-qualified so you can gain an understanding of where you stand. This can help guide your actions if you need to make any improvements to your finances. Hopefully, this means you can secure the right mortgage product when you apply for a mortgage approval.
Consider your budget
Budgeting to buy a home in 2024, or any year, can be tricky. This is especially true for first-time buyers, because it’s easy to underestimate and misjudge the costs of purchasing a house. However, you can start by examining your finances to gain an idea of what you think you can afford. Your income, expenses, existing debts, and credit all play a role here. Of course, you will work closely with your real estate agent to determine an accurate budget, but this is how you can begin forming an estimate on your own. Your budget will tell you a lot about your future buying plans, such as the size of your down payment, and ideal property type.
Think about your housing needs
When you enter the housing market, it’s best if you already have an idea of things you need in a home. This will narrow down the types of properties you view, and will help your agent find the homes that suit you best. While it’s good to have an open mind, there’s no point looking at homes you know will not meet your requirements. You should make a list of what is absolutely essential for you to consider a property. This could involve the number of bedrooms, access to transportation and amenities, or a budget cap. The more specific you can be ahead of time, the quicker you can find the right home. This prevents you from wasting time viewing properties that aren’t a good match.
Get in touch with a broker
As always, using a mortgage broker is one of the most important parts of buying a home! Purchasing a home can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to feel lost or stressed. When you have a broker working with you, it means you have a professional on your team to make the process smoother. Sorting out your budget, mortgage product, and mortgage rate are tasks that require professional guidance for the best results. In fact, many lenders only work with clients who come from a mortgage broker. Using a broker opens up several options you may not otherwise have in the market.
There are lots of steps involved in preparing to buy a home in 2024. Getting a head start on some of these items means you can jump into the market faster. Purchasing a home is an exciting experience, but be sure to involve a mortgage broker before you get started! We can ensure you have all the tools you need to succeed, so you can secure the perfect mortgage product.
If you have any questions about your mortgage, get in touch with me!