In the Market: A few starters for your planning process

Nneka Madus
Posted by Nneka Madus
Mortgage Market Analyst

This feature is a real estate news and information roundup from a millennial’s point of view. When a young professional moves from Indianapolis (median home price $125K) to San Francisco (median price $1 million), you can expect an adventure.  Nneka Madus, an analyst in Bank of the West’s Mortgage Division, did just that and has plenty to share in her quest to own a home in San Francisco.

Young African American couple in a joy-filled hug in the entryway of their new house.“There’s always next year.” I’ve often said that in my journey toward owning a home someday. Well, next year is just about here, so what better time to start laying some plans? I have found the resources cited below to be helpful (and even hopeful, for me).

Experts estimate that it can take almost a year just to get your finances in a good place before purchasing a home. Given that the hot homebuying season will be here in less than six months, it may pay to start prepping now. While it is likely that you may experience a few hiccups during the mortgage process, many of them can be avoided if you’re savvy enough. To help smooth the mortgage loan process, this USA Today article shares some steps to consider taking in the next six months.

Finding the right home and then securing the financing can also take some time — we’re talking up to six months, if not more! When you think about it, it makes sense. Buying a home will likely be one of the largest purchases you ever make; and for that amount of money, you want to make sure you’re buying the right home and getting the right deal. The previous item showed you how to smooth the process; now check out this Business Insider article from Jacquelyn Smith, who teaches us some tricks that she personally used to shave weeks off her homebuying process. Could they work for you?

Social media has made it easy for us to keep track of the life changes our friends and families experience, and a recent study uncovered that your friends’ Facebook behavior can influence your behavior. On my personal Facebook, I’ve followed the wave of status updates chronicling engagements, weddings, the birth of babies, and now the purchase of first homes. It may seem like everyone you know is buying home, but is it the right time for you? Understanding the real costs of homeownership –beyond the down payment and purchase price — may help you make that determination. Hal Bundrick’s Nerdwallet article helps readers consider whether it’s really a good idea for you to buy a home versus continue renting.

Happy New Year!

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