You’ve decided that it’s time to stop renting and jump into home ownership but there are a few things that you should do before making that leap. Some of these things need to be done well before you start traipsing through house after house.
The very first thing you should do is check your credit
Not just your credit score, but your credit reports. The “big 3”: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, will give you a complete overview of your credit situation. If there are discrepancies, get them cleared up. This can take weeks or months. If your credit score is low, you may need months or even a year to raise it. Having a good credit score can make a huge difference in how much interest you pay on your mortgage, so it will be worth putting off looking at homes until you are ready and able to buy.
Next, save, save, save
Having a decent or better down payment can mean the difference between getting the house you want or not. 20% is a good figure to shoot for, if you can save more, it will give you a cushion in case you need to fix things in the home or pay any extra fees. Plus it helps raise that credit score too!
Get preapproved for your mortgage
Getting preapproved can and will give you a leg up over other people making offers on the same home as you are. A seller who knows that you can get financing and settle more quickly will favor you over another buyer who doesn’t. It will also mean that you stick to your budget. If you are preapproved for a mortgage that will be comfortable for you to pay each month you will be less likely to be talked into a home that is above your price range.
No large purchases until after settlement
Don’t shop for furniture, cars or make other big purchases until after you have settled on your home and the money has been paid out to all parties. If you make any large, expensive purchases, especially on credit, prior to settlement you may end up without a mortgage when you are ready to settle.
Lastly, find a reputable Realtor to help you find that new home!
Definitely pick one that loves working with first time homebuyers and who will answer all your questions! A great Realtor will help you to get through the whole process safely and find a great fir home!