These Are the Resolutions You Should Be Making If You Want to Buy Your First Home in 2022
According to a survey of first-time homebuyers conducted by Chase in 2021, 60 percent of Americans are likely to buy a home in the next year, and 70 percent of those surveyed admitted to making lifestyle changes in order to work towards that goal. With 2022 on the horizon, many people are looking to make buying a home a top priority for next year. I talked to a few pros to see which resolutions you should be putting on your list if you’re hoping to make 2022 the year you buy a place of your own.
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Educate yourself on the process.
Buyers planning to buy a home in 2022, particularly first-time buyers, should start by educating themselves on the homebuying process, according to Sean Grzebin, head of consumer originations at Chase Home Lending. “There are many avenues for this, including a homebuying course, online articles, and more,” he says. Here are 4 helpful courses for first-timers.
Find your homeownership dream team.
Not all real estate professionals will be a good fit for what you’re looking for, which is why Grzebin says it’s important to find the right team for your situation. “A home lending advisor can help them understand how much they can afford, what financing options are best, and where assistance is available,” he says. “A real estate agent will be vital to their home search and ensure they’re getting the best deal possible on their home.”
Sort out your down payment and closing costs.
Since one of the main challenges for first-time homebuyers is the upfront cash (like the down payment and closing costs), Grzebin says securing these things needs to be a priority. “It’s a myth that you have to put 20 percent down,” he explains. “According to the National Association of Realtors, in 2020, the median down payment overall was 12 percent, and for first-time buyers, the median was lower at 7 percent.” Knowing that you have to come up with a little less than expected may mean that homeownership is that much closer to being within your reach.
Do your homework.
After you’ve hooked up with the right lender who can tell you what kind of buying power you’re working with and a real estate agent who works in your desired area, Rebecca Awram, mortgage advisor at Seniors Lending Centre says it’s time to enter research mode. Ask your real estate agent to send over a few listings within your budget to see if you’ll be happy working within your existing parameters. “You may need to either adjust your budget (increase down payment, add a co-signer) or reconsider the area you would like to live,” she says.
Don’t watch the clock.
One misconception Awram says people always have is that they feel like they need to buy a house by a certain age. “People often have this goal in mind and neglect all other circumstances because they want to purchase their first home right away,” she explains. “It’s important to consider things like paying off student debt first, buying a car if that is needed at the moment, and focusing on other more immediate goals.”
Check rent prices.
You might’ve already decided that 2022 is the time to buy, but if you’re still on the fence, Hilla Sferruzza, CFO at Meritage Homes, says you should see what people are paying for rentals in the area. “Prospective homeowners are often surprised to learn that their mortgage payment may be the same or sometimes even less than their rental expense,” she says.