1. Get Your Finances Together: Gather the documents your lender will need to get your mortgage application started. These can include pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns. This is also an excellent time to review your household budget for any positive changes you can make.
2. Evaluate Your Needs: What is your reason for moving? Do you need more space? Are you downsizing? Do you want a closer proximity to a school, work or family? Thinking about what you truly need in your next home will help you streamline your search and save you time and money.
3. Talk To Your REALTOR: Even if you aren’t ready to move right away, the right REALTOR can help guide you through the process of preparing to search for your next home. And if you have a home to sell, your REALTOR can help you get started preparing your home to sell and offer staging advice, pricing, and marketing strategies.
4. Talk To Your Lender Or Mortgage Broker: Start with your bank or credit union, and get referrals from your REALTOR. Get your mortgage application started and pull your credit. Find out what you can afford and get pre-approved before you start your house-hunt. This will strengthen your position as a Buyer and help you avoid possible disappointment. Even if you find that you – or your credit score – aren’t ready to purchase just yet, a good Lender can counsel you on improving your credit, and guide you towards approval in the future.
5. Shed Excess Belongings: The process of moving and moving supplies can be expensive. Think about personal items you no longer want or need or that will likely not have a place in your next home. Sell unwanted or unnecessary items and put those funds towards purchases in your next home, or donate them to a local charity for a tax write-off. If you will be selling your current home, this will also help you get a head start on packing and staging.