It is hard to believe we are well into 2015. How are your New Year resolutions coming along? Is one of your resolutions this year to buy a new home? What better way to kick start a fresh new year than in a new home! Here are some things I believe you should do before you purchase your new home in 2015.


Check out these 5 tips for a smoother home buying experience:


Set a budget:
Take a good look at your finances and figure out how much you can comfortably afford to pay for a home. This includes a down payment, potential closing costs, taxes and monthly mortgage payments. Set a budget and STICK to it. The last thing you want is to start the year worrying about how you will make your monthly payments. Also, remember buying a home means additional costs other than the mortgage like insurance, property taxes and maintenance. There is some additional great advice from some of USAA’s CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals here.


Make a wish list
Narrow down the style of home you prefer and the amenities. Know which neighborhoods you are interested in and research areas with good schools. It is also helpful to have a list of features you desire in your new home. Things like open floor plan, pool, number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Your wish list will help you narrow your search and cut out any listings that will not meet your needs.


Do your research
Research the selling prices of similar homes in the areas you are interested in so you have an idea of a reasonable asking price. This is also a good time to check out crime rates and the sexual offender database to ensure there are no red flags in relation to the home you are considering. (Check out these real estate resource links: Zillow, Trulia, Homecircle)


Find an agent
It is important to find a real estate agent who has your best interests in mind. When my husband and I bought a house, we were very pleased with the agent we found through USAA’s Home Circle®. It is not a necessity to use an agent when purchasing a home, but it is very helpful to have a knowledgeable and experienced individual working on your behalf!


Take advantage of military friendly resources:

1. provides advertising support to military families trying to sell or rent their homes
2. provides military members with access to information on available housing from anywhere in the world 24/7/365, allowing them to start the home finding process as soon as they receive their orders.
3. provides search tools, guidance and products  to meet all your real estate needs
4. is a PCS relocation resource and military housing site that allows military families to help other military families by writing reviews about military towns.

Do you plan on buying a home in 2015? Please share your home buying strategy and/or tips in the comments.





Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the United States, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.


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