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Holiday Season is Home Buying Season

Bet you didn’t know that the holidays are one of the best times of year to shop for a new home!

No Santa isn’t likely to put one in your stocking, and you won’t get any Black Friday deals, but it’s a great time to choose your much coveted home.

There are a number of factors that figure in to holiday home shopping both for the seller and the buyer. If you are looking during the holidays, you probably have an immediate need for a new home. When it comes to new homes, often builders are looking to close as many homes by the end of the year.

When you shop for a new home during the holidays you are also less likely to lose your favorite home site or available home to the next person who walks through the model doors. This doesn’t mean it still can’t happen, but there are fewer serious buyers out during the holidays.

If you find something you like, you are likely to see your mortgage approval move quicker and more smoothly this time of year. Because there is less volume it could mean faster approvals.

So if you are still trying to figure out what to get the family for the holidays…think about a new home!

7 Home Buying Tips To Start Your New Home Search

Searching for a new home is not rocket science but there are a few things new homebuyers may not know. Over the years we’ve provided many useful tips to assist in the home search and purchase process.  Below are 7 buyer basics to help jump start your search for a new home in the Oklahoma City Metro Area.

Get pre-approved for your home loan
 – It’s important to know what you have to spend before you start looking at the homes you are going to spend it on. A pre-approval letter means you’ve already had a professional look at your financials so there won’t be any hidden surprises. There’s nothing worse then beginning your home search without a budget. Inevitably you’ll fall in love with a home that could end up out of the price range.

Don’t move around your money – If you plan on purchasing a home, it’s not wise to make large purchases with in the 6-month time frame leading up to your home purchase. This can affect your credit profile, and your debt to income ratio. It’s best to begin your search with as little credit activity as possible.

Don’t try to time the market – If there is anything we’ve learned in the last several years it’s that there is no right time to buy. You can sit on the fence and miss the home of your dreams if you keep trying to balance low pricing and low mortgage rates. The right time to buy is not a combination of economic factors. The right time to buy a new home happens when you find that home that speaks to you. If you wait for the perfect time, you are likely to miss out on the perfect home.

The big McMansion isn’t better – Gone are the days when homeowners strive to have the largest house on the block. Energy efficiency and smarter space saving designs have become much more important both for livability and for your budget. In fact it’s never been advantageous to own the biggest house on the block. If you have the biggest house you help the property values of the smaller houses around you, but it does not work the other way around.

Get the lay of the land – When buying a home it’s not just about the house itself, but also the neighborhood you will live in. A great way to get a feel for the area is to stalk the neighborhood. Driving around at different times of day will give you different perspectives. If you happen to see a neighbor outside, one of the best ways to get a feel for the place is to get out and talk with them especially in new home communities.

Learn about the practical stuff – While you are stalking the neighborhood make sure you check out important information like school system ratings, nearby shopping, grocery stores and other convenience shopping that is a regular part of your routine.

Check out the commute – if you are moving any kind of distance from your job, it’s important to get a feel for the primary commuter routes, and also the alternatives when you hit congestion. After all you want to live in your house, not on the road getting from work to home.

These 7 tips will help you get started on your home search and target your efforts.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Building a Home Pt 1

We’ve all heard the saying, practice makes perfect, but most of us do not build enough times to learn as we go. When building a dream home, we typically get one shot. That’s why we made a list of common questions that will make your homebuilding process easier.

What things do you like/dislike about your current house?

Do you love the convenience of the Jack and Jill bathroom for your kids? Or, do you hate listening to them argue about who gets to shower first? Make a list of what works and doesn’t work in your current home, so your new home works for you and not against you. 

Do you plan to age in place?

Thinking down the line is smart when you’re selecting home plans. The idea to age in place involves designing a floor plan to avoid potential challenges as you age. Single-story floor plans, an open, spacious living space and curbless showers, are all design choices that will allow you to age gracefully in your home for as long as possible.

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