Recent reports in the media showing that the U.S. housing market is increasing in multiple facets may inspire some future homeowners to get off the sidelines and into the action sooner rather than later.
A recent Housingwire analysis shows that a number of factors are increasing the demand for all types of housing, including single-family homes and multifamily units. Loosening inventory, decreasing unemployment and relatively low mortgage rates are all contributing to the stabilization of the market.
"We believe steady, if unremarkable, monthly job growth is creating a similar household formation environment for 2013 which should support our positive housing outlook," the analysts said in a report on housing demand.
Prepare for the purchase
Future homebuyers may realize that the purchasing process can be long and complicated, but there are resources online to help them prepare. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the first step is to figure out how much you can afford. Buyers should take into consideration their income, credit rating, monthly expenses, down payment and the loan's interest rate. It's also imperative to keep in mind closing costs and the price of title insurance, which will be paid at the close of the transaction.
Once you determine the amount you can afford, read up on buyers' rights and shop for a loan. There are a number of federal programs that can help you out, including HUD and Federal Housing Authority loans.
Make and keep building a list
When you’ve selected and been pre-approved for a loan, it may feel like the hard work is over. However, the buying process has just begun. Now is the time to make a wishlist of what you want in your new home, as well as what repairs or improvements you may be willing to make after purchasing.
Then, use online resources or call a real estate agent to make a list of dozens of homes that may fit your requirements. Many real estate experts advise homebuyers to look at eight to 10 homes before narrowing it down to three and, ultimately, finding the right one. It may be an exhaustive search, however, because a number of factors will be considered: schools, neighborhood, area property values and local amenities, not to mention the homes themselves.
Buying a home isn't easy or stress-free, but as it may be the biggest purchase you ever make, it'll be worth it in the end.