The Christmas tree’s come down. The kids new toys are now part of the furniture.
And you've just recovered from all the festivities and visitors. Finally you have some time to relax and dream about the year ahead. If moving house is on your wish list this year, then here’s some resolutions you might want to make note of to make sure you achieve that goal.
Once you have committed to your New Year’s housing resolutions, have a read through our eBook “How to Get Ready to Sell Your Home” which is packed with professional advice, useful tips and fun infographics, to prepare you for the road ahead.
Here’s four New Year’s resolutions for anyone thinking about
upping sticks this year and moving on:
I will make a list of what I want, and what I don’t want
Now this may sound obvious, but there’s a big difference between having ‘an idea’ of your dream home and actually working your way through a checklist before deciding. Here’s some things to consider to help you break this process down:
Choosing where you want to live is the first question to tackle. Travelling times to work, school zones, convenience to amenities such as grocery shops, restaurants and malls are all valid considerations. Choose a list of suburbs and try to narrow your searches down to these areas so you’re not overwhelmed with unrealistic listings landing in your inbox.
Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, the design and layout of your home is something you’ve most likely pictured in your mind already – so go with that. Also, think about if you are willing to renovate immediately or do you want to move into a home that’s ready to live in right away?
Your choice of home has to accommodate your (future) family. Consider whether you plan to expand your family in the near future before moving – it’s a good idea to think at least 5 years ahead.
There is rarely a ‘perfect’ home, so you’ll have to be willing to accommodate a few tradeoffs. Be absolutely clear about what are ‘must haves’ and what you can be flexible on – and write it down!
I will sit down and get my finances in order
Once you have your dream home checklist in place, it’s time to put an even tougher checklist together - your financial one. Just like the previous checklist, if you break this one down into steps, you’ll find it a lost easier to get your head around:
How much can you afford?
Take a look at your current income and expenses. Now try to map your future income and expenses – and don’t forget to also take the costs of selling into consideration. If you need help mapping this out, download our eBook and use our handy worksheet to help you get started.
Start meeting lenders:
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), nearly nine out of 10 buyers finance their purchase. With virtually every home buyer on the market looking for finance options, you need to pick up the pace and meet lenders either face-to-face or online and getting competitive quotes to see which you can best afford to pay back over over time. Check out our Home Straight video where John van Winden from NZ Home Loans provides some sound lending advice.
I will learn about mortgage options
Understanding your mortgage options is crucial when planning your next home move because the rate of interest and the rate of repayment you choose at the beginning of your mortgage term will go on for the next several years. So before you lock yourself into a binding financial commitment, have a careful think about whether you can sustain the repayments in the long run.
The next question you have to tackle is down payment.
While most homes are set at 10 percent, always make it a priority to check with the seller if the rate is higher (and if the home is not going to auction, whether there is a possibility of a slightly lower down payment rate).
To get the best rate, you have to demonstrate a solid credit standing.
This can be ensured by paying all your credit card bills on time, paying off your installment purchases regularly, and not defaulting on your rent (if you are currently renting).
Mortgage financing can be obtained from mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks, credit unions, and insurance companies, so take the time to shop around for the best mortgage rate.
I will avoid making complicated changes to my house
One of the common mistakes homeowners make while preparing to sell their home is getting carried away with renovation work. Yes, you should make sure your home is presentable to future buyers but try not to undertake any structural changes to the house just before selling. These changes tend to take longer than anticipated and if they don’t go exactly according to plan, could leave your home worse than before you started.
Also, if you imagine that renovating your home will increase the sale value of your property, think again. While it is true that renovations can add value to your home, the truth is the cost sunk into most renovation projects usually exceeds budgets and there is a high risk of over-capitalising.
If you want an unbiased opinion, get a free appraisal and seek the advice of a real estate agent early on in your planning, and ask them which changes are most likely to affect the final price of your home.
If you’re getting ready to sell your home in 2016 our free eBook "How to Get Ready to Sell Your Home" is a must-read. It’s packed with professional advice, useful tips, checklists and fun infographics, to prepare you for the journey ahead. A perfect read for a lazy summer afternoon!