We've written articles about the intricacies of real estate for many years now, started in 2005, and many items and steps of buying and selling a home remain consistent. Yet, just the thought of a next move or a purchase can cause enough anxiety that people fail to take small steps in the larger process. So here is a reminder that It's Never to Early, or Late, to Get Started.

1. Never to Early to Consider Personal Finances.

People of all ages can fall into a pattern of not reviewing personal finances on a regular basis. Reasons are they’re scared to really know what their current financial position is, don’t want to realize where their money is wasted, or just have lack of education in personal financial management. Whatever the reason(s), it is never too early, or late, to dive into personal finances and see where money is spent, create a budget for savings, and take small steps to improve credit scores.

2. Never too Early to Get Prequalified

In the home buying process, obtaining a prequalification letter from a home loan officer is a primary step. During this step, a home loan officer may offer recommendations on how to improve credit, increase purchasing power, and help a homebuyer determine what a monthly payment will be on a particular home (based on sales price, taxes, downpayment, and current interest rates). For homebuyers, that prequalification can be included with a buyer’s purchase and sale offer to demonstrate to the seller that they’re willing and able to purchase.

3. Never too Early to Plan the Next Move

Whether you’re moving across town, into a larger home, into a smaller home, across Washington State or in or out of the State, it is never too early to start planning. Planning the next move can require changes of jobs or careers, packing a whole household, prequalifying for the new purchase, enrolling in schools, learning commutes and where conveniences are, undertaking a higher monthly house payment, and so much more. By getting started early, you can minimize the stress while keeping the move, moving forward.

4. Never too Early to Plan Living in Retirement

You’ve worked all your life, saved money, paid off a house(s), raised a family, traveled and seen the world, and now it’s time to plan living in retirement. What does that even mean? Living in retirement means something different for everyone and sometimes staying in the current home is not part of the plan as living with stairs may pose a day-to-day hazard. Taking steps now for retirement may look like the following: start reducing the number of personal items owned, planning a new living arrangement and selling the long-time home, and learning how to live on a fixed income, or not. Yet, what if selling and moving is not an option for whatever reason. Did you know that a reverse mortgage could be a solution to keep you in your current or new home?