Hamilton Herald Masthead Hamilton Herald

Editorial


Front Page - Friday, June 7, 2019

Taking the steps to find, purchase your home




As the homebuilding industry celebrates National Homeownership Month in June, new data from the National Association of Home Builders reveal that starting in 2019, a majority of senior (56%) and millennial (50%) buyers have moved beyond planning to purchase a home to actually starting the search process.

The NAHB Housing Trends Report reveals that millennials expect house hunting to become easier in the months ahead. The data dispel the misconception that millennials view home buying as a burdensome process. The national homeownership rate is on an upward trend, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of U.S. households increased to 122.3 million in the first quarter of 2019, 1.5 million higher than a year ago.

Building equity

The benefits of homeownership are numerous. For many, owning a home is a positive step in creating a source of net worth. Home equity, the difference between the market value of your home and the mortgage debt you owe on it, for U.S. homeowners has risen this year. Building equity when the value of your home appreciates is one of the significant long-term financial benefits of homeownership.

Starting your home-buying process

Purchasing a home can be a daunting experience without research and planning. The first step is qualifying for a mortgage and saving up for a down payment. To help aid in the process, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – through the Federal Housing Administration – offer mortgage programs for first-time homebuyers. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also offers free home-buying seminars.

Financing your new home

An important step in financing your home is selecting a lender and getting pre-approved for a loan. Some homebuilders offer financial incentives or can arrange favorable financing for their customers. When you know how much money you can borrow, this can help determine the price range that works for you. Lining up your financing will allow you to move quickly if you are bidding on a house that has several interested buyers.

Prioritizing home features

Before starting your house hunt, it is important to outline the home features that matter the most to you and your family. Talk to the members of your household and make a list of the top preferences in your home. You should also discuss the size and floor plan that best fits the needs of your household. Another discussion point is the type of home that is suitable, such as a single-family home or condominium.

Starting your home search

Once you have your financing lined up and know what type of home and features you want, you can begin your house hunt. You can start with a builder to buy a new home or find a real-estate agent to purchase an existing home. Websites such as Realtor.com, Redfin.com and Trulia.com have comprehensive lists of homes for sale with photos, maps and neighborhood features.

To find a quality custom homebuilder or a professional Realtor in the tri-state area, visit the online membership directory of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at HBAGC.net.