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Take These 5 Steps to Start Buying A Home

The real estate market across the United States has seen an increase after the COVID-19 quarantine period, and Boise is no exception. Boise and the Treasure Valley area was already a hot market before the Coronavirus outbreak, and that trend is continuing now that people are not as locked down. If you are looking at buying a house in the Boise area, now is the time to buy. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or looking to retire, follow these steps to help you find and buy your next home.

Get pre-approved

The first real step in the home buying process is to get pre-approved for a loan. This applies to everyone except for the rare buyer that is able to buy the home with cash. Getting pre-approved gets you in touch with a lender who is able to determine how much money you are eligible to borrow. In addition, sellers are much more likely to chose a buyer who is pre-approved since it shows that they are serious about buying a home in the next few months.

Pick an experienced real estate agent

The real estate agent you work with should be experienced, knowledgeable about the area and market values, and be actively working on your behalf. When they get your home search criteria, they should work hard to find listings that fit your criteria on the MLS, as well as properties listed as “coming soon” or potential pocket listings. Your agent should also keep you updated and informed on every step of the home buying process.

Be prepared to act fast

With your pre-approval setting your budget and an experienced agent on your side, find a home inspector, preferably one that can conduct an inspection on short notice (within 7-10 days). Sellers like a faster closing process, which can help make your offer stand out. One option is to have a pre-offer inspection. This serves two purposes: It shows how serious you are about buying that house, and it removes an inspection contingency on your offer, which buyers already see as a positive.

Expect competition

In a hot market like Boise, well-maintained established homes as well as new homes are snapped up as soon as they hit the market. Boise is a seller’s market due to high demand and low supply. When you see a home you like, don’t wait to tour and submit an offer. Waiting can lead to missed opportunities. In addition, bidding wars can happen in a competitive sellers market. Escalation clauses and contingency waivers are common ways to beat the competition. Talk to your realtor about these options.

That being said, don’t over-extend your spending limits. Paying too much every month for your mortgage makes it hard to enjoy being a homeowner. If the bidding gets too high, don’t be afraid to walk away.

Patience is key

Despite homes moving on and off the market quickly, be sure to exercise some patience. Since many COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, sellers are highly motivated to put their home on the market. Also, steps like negotiations, inspections, and waiting to hear back about your offer take time. You will find the right home for you and your offer will get accepted.

You may also like: 4 Things You Can Actually Ignore When House Shopping

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