Is Buying a Home Your 2023 Resolution? Here's Your Plan!
Is your 2023 New Year resolution to become a homeowner?
While many have resolved to make 2023 the year they finally become homeowners, many unwittingly put obstacles that delay the process.
Working towards buying a home is challenging enough in the current market, don't make it more difficult by going at it without a plan. One of the most popular ways to reach a goal --including buying a home --is by using the "SMART" method.
SMART Goals for Buying a House
Using the SMART method helps you draw up a feasible plan of action, making it much more likely for you to achieve your goal. Here is how that breaks down.
The SMART goal acronym stands for:
SPECIFIC: Detail what you truly want in your home.
Is there a specific area or neighborhood you want to live in? How much outdoor space would you like? Do you need a home office? Do you plan to expand your family size (whether having children or parents moving in)?
Think critically about your lifestyle, your finances, and what it is about your current place that is or isn't working for you. Then, map out your wants vs. needs.
Good Example: I want a 2-bedroom home with a garage, a work commute of under 30 minutes, and within an hour of hiking trails.
Poor Example: I want to buy a 2-bedroom home.
MEASURABLE: Understanding Know Your Finances
Measuring your progress is vital, and your finances are where it's at when it comes to getting closer to buying your first home.
Start by assessing where you are with your credit score, debts, and savings.
Then set measurement milestones improving the areas that need it, whether that's increasing your credit score, paying down debt, or adding more to your savings for your downpayment.
Good Example: I will pay down $5000 in debt and increase my score by 20 points.
Poor Example: I will add to my savings every month.
Mortgage Tip: Need help determining which financial factor to focus on? Contact us for a free home loan evaluation!
ACHIEVABLE: What Can You Afford?
This essential step will ensure you can accomplish your home-buying goal. Getting pre-qualified for a home loan will help you understand your current affordability level and what changes need to happen to help you afford more (or at least more comfortably).
Getting pre-approved also informs you of your home loan options. Down payments of as little as 0-3% are available. Do you qualify? The only way to truly know if you do is by beginning the discussion with a loan professional.
RELEVANT: Putting Homeownership in Context
Consider your short and long-term vision for your life. Is extensive traveling or moving to a new state a priority in the next 2-3 years? Then buying a forever home may not be the best idea (but an income property might be!)
Ready to start a family? Then buying a home is about as relevant as it gets! Consider what direction you are taking your life and use that as a framework to determine how buying real estate fits in.
TIME-BASED: When Should You Start Shopping?
By time-stamping or setting a deadline, you help set yourself accountable and make it much more likely you'll achieve your goal.
- Narrow the search area to five neighborhoods by February.
- Choose a real estate agent and a mortgage professional by March.
- Establish home budget by April
- Raise credit score May.
- Have a down payment by August
Poor Example: I will buy a house this year.
Making Your SMART Homebuying Goal Happen
SMART goals are more than "smart'; they're crucial aspects of goal-setting and help to scaffold your success. Need help creating a solid plan to buy a home in 2023? We can help! Contact us, and let's develop a plan together.