As we near the end of 2017, many people are starting to make their list of new years resolutions.  Some people might make some regarding their health; others might resolve to be more confident and try a new hobby; and still others might hope to become a homeowner in 2018. If the last one applies to you then we’re here to help! After all, according to a source, 76% of Americans are optimistic that 2018 will be a better financial year than 2017.  A better financial situation means that you’re one step closer to becoming a homeowner! Here are some new years resolutions you should keep to make it happen in 2018.

Do Your Research.

If you’ve finally decided that you’re sick of renting and are ready to buy you should do your research. Sit down with you family and make a list. Our source suggests making a list of “5 Must-Haves”, which means five things that you would love to have in your home. This could include anything from a large backyard, to a 2-car garage to stainless steel appliances in the kitchen.  However before you make this list you also need to narrow down which areas you would like to be in, the price range, and how many bedrooms and bathrooms you would require. If you are newlyweds for example, you might want a 2 or 3 bedroom for your growing family.

Once you have these details nailed out you should also probably start crunching the numbers. Being a homeowner is a lot of responsibility and often includes more than the asking price. For example you’ll want to research: how much HOA fees are for the home (if it is in a Homeowner’s Association), how much utilities cost, and how much taxes are just to name a few. Of course, your real estate agent can help you determine if you are ready for these extra numbers as well.

Get Pre-Qualified.

Once you’ve gathered your research and are ready to contact a real estate agent (hopefully The Jim Dolanch Team), you’ll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage as well. You don’t want to find your dream home that matches each one of your Must-Haves from the list above but be unprepared to make an offer because you are not pre-approved.  If the home is as perfect as you think it is then a buyer that’s already been pre-approved is sure to agree and will take it out from under you. Most agents, including our team, will require you to be pre-approved before even working with you as a safety measure. It shows us that you are ready and able now and it will also give you a better idea of your price range as well!

Be Realistic.

While it’s important to have a list of “Must-Haves” that was mentioned previously, it’s also important to be realistic. While we might not like it the word compromise is key here. Our source states that if you’ve found 80% of the things on your list you might have to sacrifice the last 20%. It might be a good idea to list your “Must-Haves” in order of importance. Perhaps you’ve never had a home with a  garage and are tired of scraping your car out of Pittsburgh’s snowy seasons; a garage should probably be ranked as number one on your list.  However, if you’ve found a home that has a garage but not a big backyard you might have to sacrifice the backyard. Compromise is key to being realistic when buying a home.

Save Your Money!

Most people that will become a homeowner in 2018 have probably been thinking about it for a while. If that’s the case then hopefully you’ve been saving money while you’ve been “on the fence.” One good tip for saving money is to take a little bit of each paycheck and move it to your savings account. Also, cut back on the obvious things like eating out, getting your coffee out everyday, and shopping. Every little bit adds up and you’ll need as much money saved as possible for your new home and the extra expenses that comes with it!

We hope this blog has you even more eager to start the home-buying process. If that’s the case we hope you’ll contact us,, The Jim Dolanch Real Estate Team at CENTURY 21 Frontier Realty to get started. We look forward to helping you stick to your new years resolution and making 2018 the year you become a homeowner!

Ready To Become A Homeowner? We Can Help!

As you can see, if you’re ready to buy a home in the Pittsburgh real estate market in 2018,, we can assist! Don’t hesitate to contact us to get started by calling the office at 724-941-8680 or calling/texting directly at 724-288-8800.

Until Next Time,

Jim