It’s a new year and for many residents in Alaska, that often means making new goals and resolutions to help you get where you want to be in the months to come. If one of your goals for 2018 is to buy a home in Anchorage AK, then there are a few resolutions you should make to achieve homebuyer success! As your local real estate experts in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley, we have included those for you below:
Shop for the long run
One of your new year’s resolutions as an Alaska homebuyer should be to shop for the long run. Assume that you will be in your home for at least five years as this will help you narrow down the list of properties significantly. If you buy for the “now,” you may find that you run out of space as your family grows, that you needed that larger yard for your pets, or that you really could have used that second bathroom as the years go on.
Buy with purpose
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a homebuyer in Anchorage is to buy just to buy. If you’re looking to move away from renting or simply need a home with more space, make sure you’re buying a property that meets your needs, not one that you’re settling on. You spend most of your time at home—you sleep there, eat there, raise your family there—so it should improve your life and serve a purpose, not become another expensive possession.
Hold off on job changes
The new year may signal a desire to move to a new community and a new home, but if you can, you’ll want to hold off on changing to a new job. Your employment history and income are two of the most important factors lenders will consider when determining to approve your mortgage loan and at least two years of steady employment are key. If you cannot wait to change jobs before buying a home in Alaska, be prepared to provide extra documentation to your lender.
Improve your credit score
This is one resolution you will want to see through if you’re serious about buying a home! Make a plan to pay down high interest debts, including auto and student loans, as well as pay all utilities and monthly bills on time. Not only will this help boost your credit score, but it will show a lender that you can be trusted to take care of monthly payments when they are due.
Make a budget
The start of a new year can cause you to step back and take stock of your finances, including how you budget. Set a resolution for 2018 that you will make a budget that allows you to save for your new Anchorage area home and stick to it! It can be terribly easy to go over budget if you don’t have it written out, so post it somewhere handy, use a budget app, or make a note on your phone. You may find this even helps you come up with a down payment quicker than contributing to a savings account only when you happen to think about it!