On February 12, many neighborhoods will be crowded with cars as fans, family and friends gather to view the Super Bowl. Open houses are a different reason why cars might line up on the streets the next day.
Homeowners across the country will be ready to list their homes on the market by trading in foam fingers for rubber cleaning tools. Many industry professionals consider the day following the Super Bowl to be the official start of homebuying season.
Massachusetts is a great market for those who love sports and enjoy the cold winter months. Kristin Coppola, South Shore Sotheby’s International Realty, Duxbury, Massachusetts has specifically advised sellers to wait until after the big match. She says that it’s because the New England mentality is prevalent in the area. Locals are often “hibernating” and focusing on football season. All bets are off once the game is over. It’s like a madhouse span>
This guide will help you shop like a professional as the 2023 NFL season ends and the homebuying season starts.
Get to the bottom of costs and get by with what you can afford
Home buyers are receiving less for their dollars due to higher interest rates than last year. Although competition is not as intense as during pandemic heights, many home buyers are still struggling to make ends meet. These financial constraints restrict the number of homes buyers are able to afford within a limited inventory.
It is important to understand the total cost of homeownership and how to present yourself to lenders and sellers as an appealing borrower.
A stronger borrower profile = better rates
Before you start browsing online for listings, take a look at your finances.
Your credit score is a good place to begin. Lenders will usually want to see at least 620. Borrowers with a score of 740 or more are eligible for the best mortgage rates. You could be able to afford a home that has a higher price tag by paying a lower rate.
Requesting a free credit report is a quick way to improve your credit score. Credit bureaus can take up to 45 days for investigation and response to your claims.
Your debt-to-income ratio is another important factor lenders will consider when reviewing your loan application. It will be difficult for borrowers whose monthly income is greater than 36% to get the best rates.
Create a realistic budget
According to the National Association of Realtors, December 2022 saw a median home sale price of $366,900. You should also consider the costs associated with homeownership, in addition to the purchase price. These costs include homeowners insurance, property taxes, utilities, and homeowners insurance. They also cover the general cost of maintaining a home such as replacing water heaters or upgrading appliances. These fees should also be considered if you are buying in a community with a homeowners association. Closing costs are usually 2% to 6% of your loan amount.
Do not stretch your budget past what you can afford. Instead, look at your criteria list and make cuts wherever possible. Your home loan is included in the ideal 36% debt to income ratio. You can calculate your monthly debts to get an idea of how much you can use for your mortgage payments.
Get preapproved for a mortgage
Coppola says buyers “need be ready to hit the ground running”, in order to fully take advantage of the seasonal surge in homes available. The market’s new listings tend to wane around Memorial Day when the locals go to the beach. Start reaching out to lenders in order to be preapproved for mortgage financing.
Preapproval for a mortgage is a great benefit to you during your home search. Preapproval gives you confidence by confirming your eligibility for a loan. It can also help you plan your budget. And, when you are ready to make an offer, it will show that you are serious about buying.
Jessica Schenkel, Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty Swampscott Massachusetts says that a preapproval letter is a signal to sellers that they are serious buyers.
Compare rates and request preapproval from multiple lenders. This will allow you to compare rates and any fees.
Create your winning team
Schenkel says that finding the right Realtor to represent your best interests when making one of the most significant and important purchases you’ll ever make is an important step. “Not everyone will make the right fit.” Your agent is an insider resource who will help you understand the market and how to find homes within your budget.