The housing market is hot right now. In 2020, it took around 21 days for a house to sell after hitting the market. Now, houses take, on average, 17 days to sell. 

What this means is that, once you start looking for a home, you need to be prepared to act quickly. But, buying a house is no small process! 

If you don’t know where to start when you consider how to buy a house, use this guide of handy home buying tips. As you read through, you’ll find helpful hacks and hints to guide you through the home buying process. 

1. Start Saving Now

If buying is on your mind, start saving now! To get a sense of how much you need to save, start by using a down payment calculator. But know that there’s more than just the down payment to think about. 

You’ll want to have money set aside for closings costs (2-5% of the loan amount), and also money for move-in expenses. Prepare for things like immediate home repairs, furnishings, and extra “just-in-case” money. 

2. Set a Budget and Stick With It

When you factor in annual property taxes, HOAs, and utilities, how much can you actually afford? Work the numbers and figure out the tippy-top of your budget. Then, shoot for something that gives you a comfortable amount of space for flexibility each month. 

Avoid the temptation to stretch into a price range that is too high. You leave yourself vulnerable to financial disaster should “life happen”–as it often does. If you find the “perfect home” and it’s out of your budget, it’s not the perfect home! 

3. Get Pre-Approved

When you look at homes for sale, you want to be ready to make an offer when you find the perfect place. A pre-approval letter allows you to understand how much you have to work with. It also shows the seller that you’re serious about moving forward and can do so quickly. 

4. Find a Trusted Realtor

This may be the most important of the home buying tips on this list. A trustworthy real estate agent will be your best friend throughout the home buying process. Get recommendations from friends or neighbors to make sure you find a savvy realtor. 

You can also read testimonials online. For example, the realtors at Hatch Realty have a whole page full of reviews that you can read. Find the right fit and in your realtor, and they’ll find the right fit for your home. 

5. Get a Home Inspection

This tip is short and sweet: don’t skip the home inspection. Spending $200 now for a home inspector may save you thousands of dollars down the road by revealing any problems with the home. It’s worth the time and money to bring in a home inspector.

Remember These Home Buying Tips

As you keep these home buying tips in your mind, you can reduce some of the stress in the home buying process. The house of your dreams is out there. Happy hunting! 

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