It’s Opening Day here in Detroit and that means I’ve got baseball on the brain. As great as it is here, I don’t get to spend all day analyzing the spin rate on Max Scherzer’s changeup. The more I thought about it, there are some lessons we can take from America’s national pastime and apply it to your mortgage.
At first, it may seem like this article pitch is coming from the stretch position, but bear with me. By the end of this article, you’ll be crossing home plate to score the house of your dreams.
No Need to Swing for the Fences
During his American League Most Valuable Player season for the Boston Red Sox in 2008, Dustin Pedroia scored 118 runs and drove in 83 of his teammates. Of his 213 total hits, only 17 were home runs. At 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 175 pounds, Pedroia isn’t the biggest guy in the world, but sometimes a single or a double can get just as much done as the home run.
There’s a parallel to the house hunting process in here. Depending on your budget, most of you probably aren’t likely to find a house that has absolutely everything you want – granite countertops, in-ground pool, 2.5 baths – in your area for the price that you want. However, you can make a list ranking those features that are most important to you.
By setting realistic expectations and not swinging out of your shoes, you can find a house with a few of those features that fits your budget. You’re not wedded to the house forever. Like a general manager acquiring a key new power-hitting first baseman, you can always renovate the house to your tastes at a later date or upgrade to a new one.
Scout the Market
In any profession, natural talent can only get you so far. Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is a great hitter, but even he studies the downward action on Clayton Kershaw’s curveball before stepping in to the box. Preparation helps Cabrera maintain his edge.
The housing market is the same way. Make sure you scout the area. This will help in two ways:
- There are important location-related considerations, including proximity to good schools and distance from work, as well as the kind of amenities available nearby. How far are you from restaurants and theaters?
- By knowing what similar houses in the area are selling for, you have an advantage going into negotiations. If the other houses have something that this property doesn’t or there’s something that needs to be fixed, that could be the info that enables you to get a few thousand dollars knocked off the sale price.
The thing about curveballs is every once in a while the piticher hangs one right over home plate, and that’s when a prepared batter can take advantage and send the ball into the cheap seats. That same preparation could enable you to hit a home run with your home deal.
Speed Changes the Game
In 2001, the Seattle Mariners acquired a speedster who had already taken Japan by storm and was ready to take his talents on the run to America.
Ichiro Suzuki was unconventional. Rather than standing still in the batter’s box, Ichiro would slap at the ball with his momentum already starting him on his way toward first base. It was far from orthodox, but it got him 262 hits in 2004, 57 of which never left the infield. Once he got on the base paths, Ichiro didn’t stand still. In his MLB rookie year, Ichiro stole 56 bases on his way to help Seattle tie the 1906 Cubs for the Major League record for most wins in a single season with 116.
In baseball, speed changes the game. With many buyers competing for a low supply of available homes, speed can make all of the difference with your mortgage and home buying process as well. According to data from the National Association of REALTORS for March 2017, homes are spending an average of just 68 days on the open market. They’re selling nine days faster than the same time last year, even with prices on the rise.
If you’re in the market for a home, it pays to move fast. Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans® allows you to get approved by sharing your income and asset information from one of our trusted partners and pulling your own credit. In the time it takes to eat a ballpark hot dog, you can have the financing to make an offer that sellers can trust.
Hopefully this post has given you the confidence to make your best offering and strike a deal that lets you walk off into your new home. If that’s the case, you can go ahead with an online approval. If you’d like to get started over the phone, one of our Home Loan Experts will be happy to coach you through the process if you call (800) 785-4788. Still have questions? We’ll be happy to answer them in the comments below!
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