It’s no secret that the Okanagan Valley remains in a hot seller’s market and being a buyer in this kind of market can be discouraging, especially if it’s your first time buying a home. It may feel overwhelming at times, but by following these tips below, you can help your home purchasing process run as smoothly as possible!
When it comes to preparing for a home purchase, you cannot overdo it on getting your finances in order. Ensure your credit history is cleaned up, so you can have a high credit score, which is very appealing to lenders. Save up for your down payment; ideally 20% of the property purchase price, so you can avoid mortgage insurance fees. Keep steady employment so you have a consistent flow of income, which helps your lender feel more confident you’ll be able to pay back the loan.
Solidify a Pre-Approval
Before you can confidently begin your home search, you’ll want to have your mortgage pre-approval in-hand, so you know what your realistic budget is - and also so you can move quickly if you find a home you love. Your mortgage broker should secure a rate hold for you (generally for 120 days) with your pre-approval as well.
Hire a Professional REALTOR®
Working with a real estate representative that you trust is crucial! As one of the biggest investments of your life, you need to feel comfortable with the expert advice and knowledge your REALTOR® brings to the table. Strong communication and an extensive knowledge of the areas you’re interested in are also key factors when choosing a professional agent.
Understand Your Comfort
What is the maximum purchase price you can afford for a property while still feeling comfortable with your monthly mortgage payments and additional expenses? Consider shopping in a lower price bracket that allows you some wiggle room to offer over asking price if needed.
Consider the Conditions
In a competitive market, you want to curate a great offer that has the fewest conditions. Many sellers would be impressed with a firm offer - but before considering this option, you’ll need to have a serious conversation with your real estate agent and your lender, to make sure you understand the full implications of waiving your opportunity to include certain conditions such as financing, home inspection, etc. Ultimately, you need to protect yourself in the purchase.
Utilizing the above tips will assist with you being prepared in presenting a strong offer in a competitive market. Ready to begin the search for your perfect Okanagan Valley home and looking for an expert real estate professional? I’d love to help! Let’s connect.