If purchasing a new or first home is on your to-do list for 2020, it’s never too early in the year to start planning. Where do you want to live? We recommend New Hampshire, for many reasons. If you already live in the Granite State, decide if you’ll move to a new town or remain in your current community. One of the great advantages of New Hampshire is its mix of rural and urban settings with easy access to both in any direction. Think about where you want your children to go to school, but keep in mind that regional school districts can be an option.
Once you determine your location preferences, you’ll want to make a list of the things you’re looking for in a home. Must-haves such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms for your family are probably easy to name. Other features might be more of a want than a need, such as a garage, mudroom, or finished basement. Weighing the pros and cons of each element of the homes you look at – and debating which are most important to you – is all part of the process.
But before you can even get to the fun of attending open houses and touring homes on the market, focus on getting your finances and credit in order in 2020. We’ve talked a lot about what it takes to improve your credit score, which is critical for a mortgage application. It will determine how much money the lender is willing to let you borrow. To raise your score, you’ll need to pay your bills on time, correct any errors you might find on your credit report, lower your debt, and avoid opening any new lines of credit.
In the meantime, try to save as much money as you can for the down payment. We know it can be challenging, but looking for ways to cut expenses and putting that extra cash into a new house fund will all add up in your favor.
So what is the housing market forecast for the coming year? Interest rates are expected to remain attractive to buyers for most of the year until they go up slightly. You may still find that inventory is low, however, especially in an affordable price range. That could be a reason to consider new construction, which is a great way to get exactly what you want. Of course, as the year goes on, any real estate predictions might change, and this is a presidential election year, too, which always has an impact.
As you set your home-buying goals, we’d love to show you what we have available. Call us to take a tour of any available communities!