As 2019 comes to an ending, it’s almost time for that dreaded age‑old tradition — making New Year’s resolutions. Is it worth the trouble? After all, everyone knows they’re made to be broken, right?
Experts say the trick is to make them manageable. Don’t choose something unrealistic. Don’t say, “I want to be rich.” That’s a wish— not a resolution! And don’t choose anything overwhelming like, “I want to lose 20kg.” Instead, break that down into smaller segments, such as losing 3‑4kg per month.
But if buying or selling a house is something you plan to do in the coming year, this is the perfect time to set some resolutions that are not only possible, but that will go a long way toward helping you reach your house‑hunting or selling goal.
Well, duh. That may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many people may know that (in the back of their minds), but then don’t really do it. Or they save some, but nowhere near enough. Realtors and mortgage lenders suggest setting aside a specific amount each month to use as a down payment on a house. The amount varies. It may be an amount designed to get you to your goal number within a specific period. It may just be whatever amount you can afford each month. Figure out (with the help of a real estate professional) what priced house is affordable for you based on your own comfort and what price your mortgage lender will approve. Decide what amount you’ll need for a down payment (figure at least 3.5% or more of the cost of the house). Then consider possible savings scenarios based on your current disposable income and how soon you want to buy that house. But don’t make a vague or unattainable monthly goal — and then just forget about it.
Speak to your mortgage broker to have pre-approval from your lender.
It is highly recommended to get pre‑approved for a loan in advance. That way,you know just how much you can spend (i.e. how much the bank will loan you) toward your dream house. While pre‑approval is no guarantee of future financing, it tells the seller and other mortgage lenders that you’re most likely a good risk (which is to say, very little risk at all!).
Check out government programs for home-buyers.
If you’re a first home buyer and you’re buying or building a new home, you may qualify for a $10,000 grant under the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme if you purchase date was on or after 1 January 2016. Check your eligibility here.
Gather your files.
When you make an offer on your dream home, you’re going to need a lot of information — so you may as well have it handy now:
These are among the paperwork your lender will typically request. You’ll also need to fill out a mortgage application, but wait on that so you have the most current (and hopefully, best) financial records available.
Get your house in order.
Literally. Take a good hard look around you and make a list of the things that need to be done before you can list your house:
These are often high on the list for sellers wanting to get the best price in the least time. And that’s pretty much everyone!
Calculate your time frame.
Are you buying another home? Building? Moving out of state? Figure out how soon you could you be ready to move — and how long you could wait.
Find a good real estate agent.
Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent should be first on your list. You may be the one choosing your New Year’s resolution, but agents can help both buyers and sellers by helping you make preparations that will set those goals in motion — making for a very smooth transaction.