When it comes to buying a home, especially with today’s affordability challenges, you’ll want to be strategic. Mortgage rates impact how much it costs to borrow money for your home loan. And, to help offset the higher borrowing costs today, some homebuyers are taking a close look at their wish list and re-evaluating what features they really need in their next home to avoid overextending. As a recent NerdWallet article says:
“A pool, for example, may be nice to have, but it may not provide as much day-to-day value as a garage or a space for a home office . . .”
While that pool may be appealing, think twice about whether or not it’s really something you must have to be happy in your next home. Is getting that pool the main reason you’re moving? Probably not. It’s more likely a need for more space, a home office, or proximity to loved ones, friends, or work that’s motivating you to make a change.
Evaluating Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer
So, if you’re looking to buy a home, take some time to consider what’s truly essential for you in your next house. Make a list of all the features you’ll want to see, and from there, work to break those features into categories. Here’s a great way to organize your list:
- Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
- Nice-To-Haves – These are features you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these, it’s a contender (examples: a second home office, a garage, etc.).
- Dream State – This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner (examples: a pool, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).
Once you’ve categorized it in a way that works for you, discuss your top priorities with your real estate agent. Remember to think carefully about what’s a non-negotiable for your lifestyle and what’s a nice-to-have that’s more of an added bonus. Be sure to discuss where each feature falls with your agent. They’ll be able to help you refine the list further, coach you through the best way to stick to it, and find a home in your area that meets your top needs.
Putting together your list of necessary features for your next home might seem like a small task, but it’s a crucial planning step on your home-buying journey today. For a no-obligation mortgage consultation or a mortgage pre-approval, contact Jim Riley today at 612-968-2601 or email email@example.com.
Even as some companies transition back into the office, remote work remains a popular choice for many professionals. So, if you currently enjoy working from home or hope to be able to soon, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, most working professionals want to work either fully remote or hybrid (see below):
This trend is good news if you’re looking to buy a home because a remote or hybrid work setup can help you overcome some of today’s affordability and housing inventory challenges.
Working Remotely Expands Homebuying Options
Remote or hybrid work opens up a world of opportunities. That’s because it allows you to broaden your search for your next home since you’re no longer limited to living close to your workplace. With the freedom to work from anywhere, you can explore more affordable areas that may be located farther away from bustling city centers or your office. This flexibility can be a game changer while higher mortgage rates are making it difficult for some homebuyers to afford a home.
An article from the New York Times (NYT) highlights how remote work can greatly assist you in overcoming that challenge:
“. . . take advantage of the opportunity remote work has presented to move to more affordable communities (either farther out in the suburbs, or in another part of the country).”
And, since the supply of homes for sale is still so low, another key challenge for you today may be finding something with all of the features you want and need. Because remote work allows you to broaden your search radius to include additional areas, you may actually have less trouble finding a home with the features you want the most because you’ll have a bigger pool of options to pick from.
Working remotely gives you the flexibility to find an affordable home with the features you want. In other words, you have a better chance of getting what you need without blowing your budget.
Working remotely not only gives you more flexibility in your job but also presents a great chance to broaden your search for a home. Since you’re not limited to a specific location, you have the opportunity to explore more options.
For a no-obligation mortgage consultation or a mortgage pre-approval, contact Jim Riley today at 612-968-2601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has been bouncing between 6% and 7% this year. If you’ve been on the fence about whether to buy a home or not, it’s helpful to know exactly how a 1%, or even a 0.5%, mortgage rate shift affects your purchasing power.
The chart below helps show the general relationship between mortgage rates and a typical monthly mortgage payment:
Even a 0.5% change can have a big impact on your monthly payment. And since rates have been moving between 6% and 7% for a while now, you can see how it impacts your purchasing power as rates go down.
What This Means for You
You may be tempted to put your homebuying plans on hold in hopes that rates will fall. But that can be risky. No one knows for sure where rates will go from here, and trying to time them for your benefit is tough. Lisa Sturtevant, Housing Economist at Bright MLS, explains:
“It is typically a fool’s errand for a homebuyer to try to time rates in this market . . . But volatility in mortgage rates right now can have a real impact on buyers’ monthly payments.”
That’s why it’s critical to lean on your local expert, United Family Mortgage to explore your mortgage options, understand what impacts mortgage rates, and plan your homebuying budget around today’s volatility. United Family Mortgage also offers tailored advice to your specific situation and goals, so you have what you need to make an informed decision.
For a 2nd opinion or updated mortgage pre-approval letter, contact United Family Mortgage today. When it comes to the biggest purchase of your life, don’t take the first mortgage offer that comes along, contact United Family Mortgage to shop on your behalf. We are a mortgage broker, not a mortgage bank. We will shop for the best mortgage options, rates, and terms for you. Contact us today at 763-241-0306.