2021 REAL ESTATE TIPS
It's safe to say that this year is unlike any others. After COVID, many are wondering "How do we move forward?" and "What can we expect in 2021?". The pandemic has everybody wondering what their next move will be. In the realm of real estate, while there is uncertainty, some factors are set in stone. Keep reading to see what moves you should take.
- Do sacrifice some wants if looking for a house to buy. Purchase options are slim at the moment so you may need to leave "heated tile" off of your must-have list.
- Do get preapproved before you go house hunting. Leaving this step for later may cost you the property you want as other buyers will swoop in to purchase.
- Do expand your search area. You may find the perfect gem right outside the zip code you were looking at.
- Don't turn away all listings that your realtor proposes. Being quick with your decision leaves you with fewer options. Keep your palette open so that you have options to choose from.
- Don't save any less than 20% for the down payment. By doing this, you will avoid paying PMI, a fee that protects the lender in case you aren't able to make payments.
- Don't spend more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay on your house payment, especially if your down payment is less than the recommended 20%.
- Do include all fees in your expense calculation. Often, smaller fees like HOA get overlooked but do end up being a good lump sum at the end of the year.
- Do choose the lowest cost home by finding a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. Other options will end up eating your money with interest and fees.
- Do use a mortgage calculator. This will keep you within a certain budget in addition to informing you about any fees you may acquire in the process.
- Do use online services. With the pandemic, virtual options have increased allowing infinite options for viewing homes online. You will save time by doing what you can online.
- Do explore what selling your home may look like. Although you may be hesitant, the offers flooding in may change your mind and you might finally be able to get away from that annoying highway running right next to your home. There is an average of 4 offers per sold home at the moment and it looks like that number will only continue to rise.
- Don't wait around for repair requests. Be proactive and request a prelisting inspection. By doing this beforehand, you have the ability to control your expenses. For instance, you may be able to find a contractor that will do the job for less. This will also save you time. By waiting, you risk not having anyone available until a later date which delays the whole process.
- Do get a photographer for the listing photos. This doesn't have to be expensive. Some freelance photographers take amazing pictures without the insane price tag.
- Do work with a real estate agent. It might be tempting to sell by owner however working with a real estate agent will get you exposure to many buyers and will expedite this process. Time is money after all.
- Do stage your home. This marketing strategy attracts buyers. There are even options for virtual staging to minimize contact during COVID.
- Do turn space that is unused into functional office, gym, or storage areas.
- Do list as soon as possible. With mortgage rates being low right now, listing your home now decreases the amount of time your property is on the market. Waiting might prolong this period as the mortgage rates won't stay this low for long.
- If you aren't looking to sell your home this year, we still urge you to make an appointment to refinance your mortgage. There is no market crash predicted for this year and the economy is expected to only get better as time goes by.
- Keep your options open and be surprised at what you find. Monitor your property value and stay informed. An opportunity may be lurking around the corner. If you shut everything out, you'll never know what possibilities the future holds.