How to buy a home
2023 may go down in real estate history as the year of correction. After two years of a pandemic-fueled, seller-benefitting boom — with bidding wars, inventory shortages and spiraling prices all over the country — the housing market began to cool down in 2022. The impact of inflation in general and fast-rising interest rates in particular dampened buyers’ interest, causing sales to slow and price appreciation to decelerate.
Those housing trends are continuing, causing 2023 to be something of a transitional year. Sellers still have an edge in many areas, thanks to continued scarcity of houses, and no one expects a dramatic crash in home prices or values. Still, the frenzied pace has definitely subsided, and many analysts see a shift towards a more balanced market, benefitting buyers.
Whatever the economic state of the real estate market, buying a house can be an exciting and emotional process for the individual. Before starting your home search, you’ll want to understand the ins and outs of homebuying. Doing so will empower you to make decisions that are the best for your family — and your wallet.
A step-by-step guide for buying a house
1. Understand why you want to buy a house
Purchasing a home is a major decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re not clear on why you want to buy a house, you could end up regretting your choice.
How to get started: Define your personal and financial goals. “Buyers should think about things like when they intend on moving and what they want in a home — amenities, ideal location and how long it could take them to save for a down payment,” says Edwence Georges, a sales associate with RE/MAX in Westfield, New Jersey. “These are all important to help define the goals they would like to meet.”
Make a list of what’s important to you in a home. Is location the top priority? Any must-have amenities?
Does it make sense for you financially? Would renting for another year or two improve your financial standing?