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Advice for Second-Time Home Buyers

When it comes to settling down, it can be difficult to find the home of your dreams. Although buying your first home is not an easy process, the second go-around can be much more favorable if you apply your newly learned homebuyer knowledge!

It’s important to remember that the process of buying your second home will not be exactly the same as your first. Are you ready to make your second home purchase, but having anxiety about getting back on the house-hunting horse? Keep these simple tips on hand as you begin the search for your new dream home:

Evaluate Your Current Situation

A lot of things may have changed since the last time you’ve purchased a home. Now is the time to evaluate your finances and determine where you stand.

Begin to consider possible locations, plus the ideal size and features for your dream home. Remember, you’ll also need to flexible – don’t be too adamant about your wants and, instead, focus on your needs.

You may also want to consider an initial budget for your new home and determine what you’re willing to spend money on so you don’t miscalculate final costs.

Get Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage… Again

Whether you are purchasing your first, second, or third house, pre-qualification is always at the forefront of buying a new home. After you evaluate your financial situation and budget, you’ll need to know them both inside and out. Continue evaluating your finances by considering:

  • Interest rates and those you may qualify for
  • Mortgage options
  • Budget adjustments – Factors that determine your financial situation (such as job security) are tentative, so be mindful of how much money you borrow and spend

Begin Your Home Search

After pre-approval, it may feel as though a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. In a sense, one of the hardest parts is over, but, truthfully, your search has now just begun.

In searching for your next home, consider what is most important to you. Ask yourself:

  • Do I prefer an urban, rural, or suburban environment?
  • Are there stores within walking distance from my home?
  • Is the house large enough to meet my needs?

While house hunting is about finding a home you want, it is equally important you understand that you may not find everything you want and instead find everything you need. Begin to make a list of definite non-negotiables for your ideal home. Include features you absolutely must have, features you strongly desire, and features you can live without.

Get Help with Home Buying

Having trouble navigating the home buying process on your second go-around? Don’t be afraid to seek professional help! Hiring a real estate agent can help you offset the stress of selling your old home, buying your new home, and all the madness in between.

Additionally, you can look to a real estate agent to educate you on current trends in the housing market and pricing for homes. When it comes to a subject as complex real estate, it can be extremely helpful to have someone act as your advocate while easing you through the process of making your next home purchase.

To Sell or Not to Sell? To Sell!

When you start the process of buying a second home, try to keep your focus on only that second home. Instead of stressing over a dual mortgage, consider selling your first home when you’ve found the next home of your dreams!

Using the capital gains from selling your first home can alleviate some of the anxiety created from rounding up the money needed for your down payment.

Home Down Payment #2

As a second-time home buyer, the down payment for your second home can come from many sources. If you choose to sell your first home, you can use these profits to pay off the next down payment.

If you choose, however, not to sell your first home, there are still other options, such as raising the down payment percentage on your own, acquiring mortgage insurance, and more. But, first consider this: with your first home sold, you’ll be able to close the deal with your down payment check ready to go!

All factors considered, buying a home is no easy feat, whether it is your first, second, or last. While homebuyers’ wants, needs, and goals are different, the outcome is still the same: we all want our dream home! By using these tips, plus past experience and professional – or personal – advice from others, you are sure to get through the difficulties of house hunting and navigating the home buying process.

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