Navigating the New Home Market: 12 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Match - Patterson Homes

Navigating the New Home Market: 12 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Match

Taking the plunge into homeownership ranks high on the list of major life events for many — it’s your ticket to unlocking the door to your dream house. But let’s face it, the journey to finding that perfect spot to call home is packed with excitement and, let’s be honest, a fair share of stress. 

Whether it’s your first rodeo in the property market or searching for an upgrade that better suits your evolving needs, the path is littered with decisions. The real estate world never sleeps, constantly influenced by economic shifts, fluctuating interest rates, and the ever-changing tapestry of local market trends. It’s a lot to navigate, but who said charting unknown territories had to be a nightmare?

Now, breathe a sigh of relief because the road to homeownership doesn’t have to be paved with nightmares of paperwork avalanches and nights spent tossing and turning in worry. We’re here to throw you a lifeline. Armed with the right information and a sprinkle of insider know-how, diving into the new home market can be less of a daunting expedition and more of an exhilarating adventure.

To ensure you’re equipped for the journey ahead, we’ve carefully curated a list of 12 indispensable tips for buying a home. These insights aim to light your way, offering clarity amidst the chaos and helping you zero in on the home that doesn’t just meet your needs but exceeds your wildest dreams. Ready to embark on this thrilling venture?

Let’s dive in and turn the key to a new chapter in your life, one where your dream home becomes a reality.

Define your needs and preferences before home shopping

1. Define your needs and preferences before home shopping

When you close your eyes, how do you envision your dream home? What floorplan will best suit your needs? What features are most essential? Write down all your desires and consider your “must haves” first. This can be anything from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to the size of your backyard.

Next, jot down any features you think would be “nice to have,” but you don’t necessarily need. Think sliding glass doors, two-car garage, fireplace, or TV mounting capabilities. Having this list handy will simplify the home-buying process when touring dozens of homes. This initial step will provide a solid foundation for your search and help you narrow your options.

Once you’ve compiled your list of “must haves” and “nice to haves,” consider creating a ranking system based on their importance to you. This additional layer of organization will further refine your priorities and guide your decision-making process. A thoughtful and well-defined approach sets the stage for finding a home that exceeds your expectations — you deserve it!

2. Watch interest rate trends

Mortgage rates are often anxiety-inducing, especially in today’s market, but keeping an eye on interest rate trends will help you end up with the best possible mortgage. In 2024, mortgage rates are steadily declining after having peaked around 8% last October. Most housing market experts agree that rates will trend down in 2024 but remain more elevated than in years past.

Rates jump around quickly, so keeping tabs on current trends will help you have a leg up in a competitive market. It’s tricky to forecast rates in a volatile market, but most indicators suggest a likelihood of lower rates by the end of 2024. Even a slight change in percentage points can impact the cost of a monthly mortgage payment.

In a rapidly changing market, staying vigilant about interest rate trends provides you with an advantage in a competitive landscape and empowers you to make informed decisions. Staying attuned to market shifts ensures you are in the best position to secure the most advantageous mortgage terms, regardless of a dynamic real estate environment.

3. Investigate expired or withdrawn house listings

Real estate listings have expiration dates, and those that do not sell within this timeframe are referred to as “expired listings.”  An agent and seller agree on the listing duration before signing the listing contract. Typically, this time span ranges from four to six months, although it will sometimes extend up to a year.

Expired listings are an excellent source of leads to finding your dream home. If a listing fails to sell, the seller is most likely seeking a new agent or is willing to explore their options. This might lead you to a great home for a comfortable price. 

One of the most common strategies for locating expired real estate listing leads is to use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). There, you may sort by expiration date and location. Examine which listings have expired and plan for those that will expire shortly.

Real estate professionals who network with other agents have greater prospects. If you connect with numerous agents, each may have a unique specialization. Networks are clutch if a listing is about to expire and fits within your area of expertise.

4. Research new construction options

Mindfully study prospective builders. Examine their prior developments for feedback on the neighborhoods and the building process itself. You can also conduct broad internet searches to check if there are any litigation or larger concerns that may impact the job they do on their properties.

Purchasing a newly constructed house comes with a plethora of design decisions. Some upgrades appear beautiful but won’t boost the home’s value. When selecting more expensive additions and extras, consult your realtor to determine which amenities will result in a greater return on investment when you sell down the road.

The new building process is not as straightforward as moving into a home that is already built. Unexpected conditions, such as weather, natural disasters, and supply shortages, can impact even the greatest builders. Plan ahead in case your home takes longer than originally expected.

If you need to leave your previous house before moving into your newly constructed home, make sure you have a backup plan in place. You can apply for a short-term rental, stay with relatives or friends, or reside in a hotel for a few days.

5. Set a realistic housing budget

In a market with fluctuating pricing and demand, creating reasonable expectations is critical. Recognize that the current real estate market provides both possibilities and problems. Create a clear budget, specify your non-negotiables, and be ready to act quickly when the ideal home hits the market.

Conduct thorough research on the properties you’re interested in and budget for relocation expenditures as well as any prospective renovations. Contemplate unforeseen circumstances, such as longer commuting hours or if your future house will include energy-efficient appliances. All these factors add up, and without a budget in place, you might quickly spend more than you intended.

Next, plan for all the additional expenses that come with owning a home. Non-negotiable expenses include property taxes, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, and possible homeowner’s association fees. Investigate the property tax rates in the area and acquire insurance. Budgeting for regular maintenance and repairs is also essential for keeping the home in excellent shape.

6. Secure a mortgage pre-approval

Mortgage pre-approval determines how much money you can borrow from the bank to purchase a home. Lenders will look at your income, assets, and credit score to determine which loans you qualify for and what your interest right might be. This is as close as you can get to qualifying for a mortgage without having a purchase contract in place yet.

Obtaining a mortgage pre-approval is crucial for several reasons:
First, it clarifies your home-buying budget, helping you focus your search on properties within your financial reach. Next, a preapproval enhances your position in a competitive market. It sends a message to sellers that you’re a serious and qualified buyer. Lastly, a preapproval expedites the closing process by completing the necessary paperwork upfront.

Choose the right location

7. Choose the right location

Location is one of the most important considerations when hunting in the new home market. The ideal neighborhood will significantly improve your lifestyle and daily convenience. Choosing a well-connected and thriving area can contribute to future property appreciation and a sense of belonging within the community.

Before committing to any one specific community, conduct research and acquire information. Look for insights regarding the community’s safety, crime statistics, and the quality of the local schools. Online resources and local government websites can offer valuable data. Consider visiting the area at different times of day to get a better feel for the vibe and activity.

Consider locations that are being revitalized or have impending developments, such as new parks, shopping malls, or transit upgrades. Investing in a growth-oriented area increases your quality of life while also increasing the value of your home over time.

Another factor to consider is the neighborhood’s closeness to necessary facilities and services. Research the distance to grocery stores, medical facilities, public transit, and recreational locations. Being close to these amenities can help you save time and manage your daily tasks more effectively.

8. Talk to a real estate agent

If you haven’t found success in your search for a new house, it’s time to locate a skilled real estate agent to work with. These knowledgeable professionals are familiar with local market trends, allowing you to select the ideal house for your requirements. With their expertise, negotiating confidently becomes even more seamless as well.

Real estate agents assist customers in selling and buying-a-home tips. Agents educate their customers on current market circumstances, walk them through each step of the process, and introduce them to other key players like house stagers and real estate attorneys. Most agents represent both buyers and sellers. Their specific titles in a transaction are determined by who they represent in the sale.

Their experience and understanding can help you with your search and put you ahead of other homebuyers.  A real estate agent may negotiate with the seller on your behalf and manage any paperwork. If you’re feeling overwhelmed as a first-time home buyer, working with a real estate agent will help you navigate the process more smoothly and efficiently.

9. Be flexible

Flexibility is a game-changer in the pursuit of a new home. The unpredictability of the real estate market means being open to alternative options, locations, and features to reduce stress along the way. By managing expectations, understanding the need for compromise, and staying adaptable, you increase the chances of finding a home that aligns with your needs and preferences.
Stay flexible not only with the market but also with your timeline. The perfect home might not sync with your initial schedule, so staying open to adjustments can lead to unexpected discoveries. Embracing timeline flexibility ensures you won’t miss out on hidden gems that could become your dream home.
Flexibility in budgeting and negotiations opens doors to more possibilities, making it easier to secure a deal that aligns with your financial and lifestyle goals. Being adaptable with your budget allows you to navigate unforeseen expenses or invest in potential upgrades Flexibility not only simplifies your homebuying journey but also uncovers opportunities you might have overlooked.

Attend open houses

10. Attend open houses

If you’re looking for a new home, you’ve certainly spent more than a few Saturdays at open houses. These events provide the best opportunity to see possible properties up close. An open house should be an inviting environment where potential buyers and realtors can get to know each other and learn more about the property.

Searching for a house is often all-encompassing. You are likely attempting to keep track of many open house dates and hours, and it might be easy to mistake distinct houses in your mind. To combat this issue, always take notes during open house visits. Use the various addresses as headers on each page and jot down any crucial information you wish to remember.

Many potential buyers do not consider the owners when attending open houses. You always want to make a good impression on homeowners and the realtors. So, if the owners don’t like shoes in the house, leave them at the entrance as a courtesy. It’s also not recommended to bring young children or dogs to an open house since they might distract other participants and cause problems in the home.

11.  Conduct a home inspection

A professional home inspection involves a certified inspector looking for faults and possible problems. Getting a home inspection before buying a new home is crucial to uncover any potential issues or hidden problems to help you make informed decisions about your investment. It safeguards you from unexpected repairs and ensures you confidently enter the homebuying process.

Just as an appraisal protects mortgage lenders, an inspection benefits the house buyer. On the outside of the house, a home inspector will look at the roof, water, and the foundation:

  • Roof All roofs require care, so you’ll want to know when it may become a huge investment. Find out how old it is and inquire about any damage or discoloration you see. Also, look for neighboring trees. Leaves and branches cause damage and provide mice-free access.
  • Water – Water may degrade wood, weaken your foundation, and produce mold. Look for anything allowing rainwater to run onto or beneath the home. Rain gutters should be cleaned, and water diverted from the house.
  • Foundation – Problems with the foundation are costly. Keep an eye out for large fractures in the ground itself, as well as high foundations and walls. Pay attention to any trees growing near the home. Roots frequently inflict hidden harm.

Inside, the home inspector will look at the home’s interior, plumbing, air, fire safety, and electrical.:

  • Interior – The inspector will examine for evidence of damage to the walls, cupboards, windows, and other visible parts of the house.
  • Plumbing – The plumbing inspection involves a check for obvious leaks, functional faucets, shower heads, and toilets, as well as ensuring the exposed pipes are not broken or dangerously obsolete.
  • Air – This involves assessing your HVAC system and ducts to ensure the furnace and air conditioner are operational.
  • Fire safety – The inspector will check any possible fire threats and test the smoke detectors.
  • Electrical – The inspector will test all outlets, confirm there are functional ground circuit interrupters, and assess the electrical panel for any possible problems.

12. Negotiate with confidence

Negotiating with confidence involves thorough research on the property and market trends, allowing you to present informed offers and counteroffers. Understand the seller’s motivations and be clear about your priorities to give you leverage during negotiations. Establishing a healthy rapport with the seller will create a positive atmosphere, making it more likely for both parties to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
Finally, having a skilled real estate agent by your side can provide valuable insights and expertise. An experienced agent will enhance your negotiation position and boost your confidence throughout the process.

Contact Patterson Homes to Build Your Dream Home

Contact Patterson Homes to Build Your Dream Home

Now that you know all the essential buying a home tips, Patterson Homes will help you make your dream home a reality. 
Our commitment is to deliver the utmost level of service to each customer throughout the entire construction process. We ensure that our custom homes are not only affordable but also tailored to meet your specific desires and requirements.

Our design specialists collaborate closely with every customer to guarantee a seamless building experience. Our extensive array of custom-building options encompasses, but is not limited to, choices in colors, materials, hardware, interior and exterior finishings, appliances, lighting, audio, security, fireplaces, as well as showers and bath tubs.

Contact Patterson Homes today and let us help you build the home of your dreams with the quality and craftsmanship you deserve!