Ringing in the New Year with a New House in Colorado Springs

New Home for New Years

If you are wishing Santa deposits a new home under the tree in Colorado Springs, now is a perfect time to get ready for what happens next--once he's up the chimney you are alone for mortgages and moving. Even if you've purchased a residence previously, it is not a bad idea to brush up on your home buying and moving skills so when the time comes, you handle it like a pro.

Financial Check-Up in Colorado Springs

First, get your finances in order. Unless you are paying cash for a home, you will need a mortgage. While mortgage lending rules have loosened a little recently, you'll still want to have all your financial matters arranged and tidy before you sit down with a loan officer (even a virtual one). Request a copy of your credit report to assure you haven't been a victim of identity theft, and make sure all your bills have been paid on time. If you see something that doesn't appear right, contact the credit reporting agency to report inaccurate information.

It is definitely a great idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. In some areas of the country the real estate market never slows down, and you need to be ready to submit an offer on a residence when you find it. Anymore, a lot of sellers will not even consider an offer without a pre-approval from a lender. Don't mix up a pre-approval and a pre-qualification; the pre-approval says that your credit and income are already okay--sometimes already underwritten--with the lender, you just need to find a home. A pre-qualification says that they perused your credit report and if all other factors line out then they will consider a loan.

I Want....

You want everything in your new residence—the best schools, outdoor kitchen, open floor plan, mature landscaping, privacy, fabulous neighbors, and low real estate taxes. Most likely you're going to need to make some compromises somewhere, so go ahead and assemble your wants list and your needs list, and look at where the two intersect. Regardless of your budget you are not going to get every last thing that you want, so focus on your needs. If you need to be in a specific school district, or you need to be within a few miles of the airport, or you have five kids and need five bedrooms, those non-negotiables should be at the top of your list. House-hunting is the ultimate Goldilocks experience, so don't even bother with houses that are too big or small, too far off the beaten track, or too expensive.

It should go without saying, but needs to be said anyway, that your family needs to concur with the needs and the wants. If you want a swimming pool in the yard and your spouse would be happy with a high-rise, work out those little details before your realtor turns into a mediator.

A Great Real Estate Agent in Colorado Springs

A good real estate agent is not the one who is a "million-dollar producer" (this might mean she sold ten houses in ten years) or whose ads are all over billboards. A great realtor is the one that you feel like you can develop a solid working relationship with--after all, you are going to be spending a lot of time together, and she will be helping you through a large financial transaction. Find someone who's easy to talk to, that you can trust, and who really listens to what you are saying--if your limit is $350,000, she should respect that.

Your responsibility when you are interviewing realtors is to be honest about your budget and your expectations. If you've been pre-approved for $600,000, don't waste your time or your realtor's searching for houses in the $700,000s. If you are relocating and have one weekend to house hunt, make arrangements so that your realtor has blocked out the time just for you.

The internet makes house hunting less difficult, you may find yourself falling in love and submitting an offer sight unseen. In that case, ask Santa to put some boxes in your stocking.