House shopping can be an exciting process, but it takes time and preparation to get ready to buy a home. These eight tips can help you start off on the right foot. If you're ready for the next step, or have more questions about the home buying process, contact a mortgage loan officer.
1. Confirm your credit score
Credit scores are among the first indicators a mortgage lender will look at, so find out where you sit on the spectrum and correct any reporting errors that could be holding you back.1
2. Start building better credit
You'll always thank yourself tomorrow for strengthening your score today, so keep card balances in check, make payments on time and raise your credit limit if possible
3. Buy or rent?
Homeownership may be the ultimate goal, but in some situations, it may make more financial sense to keep renting over the short-term until you can set aside a larger down payment.2
4. Monitor the market
If buying is the right decision for you, it's time to identify targeted neighborhoods and research local listings.
5. Set your ceiling
Determine how much house you can afford by aiming for a total monthly mortgage payment that is no more than 1/3 of your gross monthly income.3
6. Build or buy?
Consider the costs of remodeling an existing home to meet your needs against the expense of crafting a new property to your specifications. The numbers could be closer than you think!
7. Get pre-approved
Real Estate Agents recognize mortgage pre-approval as the sign of a serious buyer. After enlisting a Loan Originator to verify your financial profile, you'll be able to approach agents with confidence.
8. Start saving
Down payment requirements will vary but be sure to understand how your initial investment will impact long-term payment obligations.