Hot homes. Cool heads: Keep your head in a torrid homebuying mar - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Keep your head in a torrid homebuying market.

After renting for five years in the Shadle Park area, Ashley and Dan Marlow decided to buy a home. They talked of reducing their commute time, and owning a home close to good schools, with a big yard for Eva, their dog.

But in a seller’s market, where the number of buyers exceeds available homes for sale, they found home prices skyrocketing and panic setting in.

“We had friends engaged in furious bidding wars, losing to more aggressive buyers,” said Ashley, a marketing specialist at STCU. “We felt pressure to buy quickly.”

After one false start, Ashley and Dan eventually found a home with a huge yard and “tons of character” in an area they liked, with good schools and a modest commute.

“Take it slow and select the home that fits you the best, because buying a home is a long-term investment,” says Jeff Mularski, a real estate manager at STCU.

Mularski coaches first-time homebuyers to avoid emotional connections when in the market by following these five steps:

  • Apply to prequalify for your home loan.
  • Avoid getting new credit cards, switching jobs, or other hiccups in your finances that might disrupt your loan eligibility.
  • Save as much as you can for improvements or repairs.
  • Hire a Realtor to navigate you through the negotiating process.
  • Check your emotions at the door.

To learn more about keep a cool head in a hot market, go to stcumoney.org.

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