Whether you are ready to buy right away or just dreaming about your first home or some other real estate investment in the future, there are steps you should take to get ready to buy.
l Even if you are "just looking" or "just thinking", I would recommend that you get "pre-qualified" or "pre-approved" for a loan. This is a relatively easy process of talking with a mortgage broker or loan officer at your bank and determining your buying power. The loan amount you qualify for is determined by your income, your debt, the time you have spent at your job and your credit history among other things. Through this process you will find out if you have some credit issues that need to be resolved, some debt that needs to be paid off, and other things you might need to do before you will qualify for a loan. You will also begin to educate yourself about the many different loan options available to you.
l If you take the time to get pre-qualified then you will save time by looking at homes in your price range, and when you do find the perfect property, you will be ready to act. A seller is going to be much more receptive to an offer from a buyer who has already been approved for a loan. In some cases it may take some time to get your financial situation in order before you will qualify for a loan. In which case, the sooner you get started, the sooner you will realize your goal of buying. Where there is the will, there is almost always a way...and this is the first step toward finding that way.
l The next step is to start identifying what type of property do you want. There is a saying among Realtors that "buyers are liars". Some Realtors will complain that they showed the buyers everything that they asked for, and the buyer ended up buying something else entirely. These Realtors haven't really listened to their clients.
l It is very hard to describe what features and amenities would make a house a good home for anyone. This is a very subjective and abstract concept, and I frequently find that it is important to listen carefully to what a buyer doesn't say. Frequently the property that meets the needs of a buyer is quite different than what the buyer thinks they want. Invest some time thinking about what features, amenities and qualities are most important to you. The more insight you have in what you are looking for, the more likely you are to find it.
l If you contact me I can help you through this process and recommend several good loan officers. In the meantime, you might go to the MLS Property Search engine at my RE/MAX equity group site, and peruse the different types of properties that are available. As you do so, note the features and amenities that most appeal to you. Are there things that you must have? What is your wish list? Then when you do contact me, you will be better able to describe what you are looking for in your next real estate purchase.