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Home April 9, 2017 Stephanie Long, Contributing Author

Are You Ready for Your Next Home? Find Out Here.

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Perhaps you’re looking for a larger home to accommodate a growing family. Or maybe you’re just ready to finally own your own house. Luckily, spring is prime mortgage time, which means this is the perfect opportunity to explore your housing options. Wherever you are on your housing journey, read here to see what your next step should be.

Renting and looking at buying.

Start your home-buying journey by going through your finances with a fine-toothed comb. A rule of thumb is that no more than 25-28 percent of your monthly take-home income should go toward a mortgage. Keep in mind that buying a new home can mean higher utility bills or new fees that were covered in your rent payments before (trash, cable, HOA fees, etc.). Factor these into your new budget.

Find yourself a realtor (BONUS: the seller pays their commission, not you) and a lender. You’re about to get very cozy with these two people, so you want someone you’re comfortable with and someone who’s patient whether you’re a first-time or seasoned homebuyer.

In a starter home and looking to upgrade.

Look at your finances to see how much more you can afford before you start shopping around. Don’t forget that a larger house might also mean higher utility bills.

You’ll also need to prep your house for the market. There might be some inexpensive upgrades you can do that add value to your home and could help sell it faster. Things as easy as a little yard work and cleaning your windows can add a lot of curb appeal to your home. Additionally, staging your home, painting the walls neutral colors, and removing clutter are good practice for selling your home.

Empty nester and considering downsizing.

Once the kids move out, you probably don’t need those five bedrooms or large yard. Before you consider downsizing, make sure you can afford the new rent or mortgage payments. If you own your home outright, new monthly payments could be more costly.

Once you’ve weighed the options and decided downsizing is the way to go, you’ve got to get your house ready to sell. Your first step should be to declutter your home. Toss old magazines, and throw away or shred old, unimportant documents. If sentimentality prohibits you, hiring a professional organizer can make the process much easier.

Change is exciting, but it can also be scary. That uncharted territory can leave you feeling hesitant and unsure of your next step—we understand that. If you have any questions about buying, upgrading, or downsizing, we’re here to help. Call, click, or come in today for expert housing advice from Member One.

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