Connect:

SO YOU WANT TO BUY A HOUSE?

By Alissa Christie, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
EVP Broker Esquire of BENTLEY'S Real Estate, Alissa is an experienced Sales Specialist committed to making the buying and selling process enjoyable for her clients. Alissa is passionate about putting her clients first and with her strong legal background she is the agent you want negotiating on your behalf. strives for excellence and is passionate
Alissa Christie
Buy A House, Newburyport MA, Alissa Christy

It’s that time in your life to buy a house . . . You start to think about possibly moving into a new home. Your apartment or first home no longer seems big enough. Perhaps you are looking for another bedroom or a place to put all of the toys. A quieter street, a newer house, a different school district . . . You scour For Sale listings daily and cannot stop thinking about your Dream Home. You say “Maybe now is the right time to make a move and buy a house.”  Mortgage interest rates are at historically low rates after all . . . and how long are they going to last?

 

And then those dreamy thoughts get shut right down. How in the world can I really manage to move? I can hardly manage to get dinner on the table!

 

There is good news for you! With a strategy and written plan in place, moving can be a simplified process. Below we have included some tips on how to find out if now is the right time to buy a house, how to get there, and ways to help the actual move feel less complicated.

 

For New Buyers {This Applies to Sellers Too}

A Pre-approval is a smart idea. A huge first step in the home-buying process is determining how much house you can actually buy. Taking this step means you’ve been tentatively approved for a mortgage of a certain size.

 

Make an appointment to sit down with a mortgage professional to go over your options — it’s free after all!  Ask your real estate agent for a mortgage broker who she/he has done business with, and who is easy to reach and trustworthy. Some important questions you may want to ask: How much can I safely put down for a mortgage? Should I continue to save for a large down payment? Do I need to sell to buy? There are many unique mortgage products available and a good mortgage professional can assist you with finding the product that suits your family’s needs best.

 

Make a Wish List. Once you have determined your purchasing power, meet with your real estate agent to discuss a wish list for your new home. What is absolutely necessary and important to you? What can you live without? Consider your desired Neighborhood, Schools, Square Footage, Bedrooms, etc. Your agent can help you decide on a happy compromise among the long list of choices and set you up for MLS listing alerts that are focused on homes that fit your desires.

 

Once you find the right home and have an accepted offer, it is important to be on top of the deadlines. In roughly a two-week period, you will complete a home inspection, sign a Purchase and Sale agreement, and start your mortgage process. Know your deadlines up front and make sure that you have them properly calendared.

 

For Sellers

Timing. The first step is to think about when you would like to move. Set a date and then work backwards from there. Many families work around the school calendar and focus on the Spring and Summer markets, but this is a personal choice and any time of the year can be right if it makes sense to you.

 

Getting Your Home Ready for the Market. In this stage, it’s important to start thinking about your home as a commodity for sale. Look at your home critically. What do I need to do to show it in its best light? If selling in the Spring is right for your family, you will have plenty of time this Fall and Winter to tackle the projects that will help you maximize your profit when the flowers start blooming. A huge part of this process involves de-cluttering, staging, and making necessary updates and repairs. Make a list of the most important items and then start tackling them one by one with deadlines to accomplish each of your tasks.

 

For example, if you have eccentric or bold wall colors, this Winter is a good time to update to a more neutral palette. If you don’t have the resources to paint the whole interior, simple tricks such as a fun, fresh coat of paint on your front door and a new coat on the interior trim will help to make the house look correspondingly more modern and fresh.

 

And staging does not mean shipping out all of your furniture and bringing in new! It can be easy to work with the furniture you have. Moving furnishings around and getting rid of items that make your space look smaller will go a long way to making your home feel spacious. The goal is to create focal points in main living areas that potential buyers will find appealing, comfortable and inviting. It is also easy to create more of an upscale look with simple staging items such as oversized throw pillows, and fancy brand-name items from Marshall’s such as bath salts. When it comes to staging items, sometimes the right item makes a subtle but impactful difference.

 

Hire a real estate professional to help you identify what you need to do and to help you come up with a written game plan and roadmap to position yourself to sell quicker and maximize your profit. Many real estate professionals offer in-house staging advice and services as well, so don’t be afraid to ask.

 

Don’t Forget About Moving Day

It’s easy to get caught up in the process and forget about the actual nuances of moving. There are many ways to help you keep control and have your possessions organized throughout the move. Again, it’s important to write everything down! You will thank yourself later.

 

Reach out to your real estate agent for ways to help you make a plan. Some tips include creating a record keeping system with a number on every box you pack and a corresponding list with the contents. Designate a room as the Packing Central. Contact moving companies well in advance to secure the best quote.

 

The Bottom Line:  Have a Plan!

Buying and selling real estate is possibly one of the largest decisions you will ever make. Like anything in life, being prepared and having a plan in place will make the transition more seamless.

 

Did we say make a list?
Whether you are one week away or one year away from buying a new home, a targeted plan that fits your wants and needs will be well worth it!

 

Alissa Christie is a real estate broker and owner of Greater Newburyport’s #1 Real Estate team, BENTLEY’S Real Estate. She is a beach lover, runner, attorney, real estate enthusiast, wife, parent of 2 girls ages 4 and 6 and soon to be golden retriever owner. Her modern approach to home sales and her polished negotiating skills enable her clients to have an elevated real estate experience. She can be reached at Alissa@newburyport.com or (978)494-3807.

Skip to toolbar