Buying a home for the first time can be exciting but nerve-wracking. It’s natural to be a little hesitant about it, to feel like you don’t know which way to go.
Not to worry. The path is clearly marked, and competent people can guide you along the way.
You’ll need to take care of a few things in advance so that they don’t become roadblocks. In fact, the more you arrange ahead of time, the smoother the whole process will work out. You’ll even be able to come into the homebuying process from a position of power.
1. Make Sure Your Credit is in Order
Having a good credit score is important for a number of other reasons, but becoming a homeowner without it is especially hard. Making your debt payments on time is good, but it may not be enough on its own.
If you need to repair your credit score, ideally bringing your used credit down below a third of what’s available to you, give yourself about six months before proceeding with the homebuying process.
2. Know Your Budget
You should be well aware of your income and expenses, and how much you’ll be able to afford after considering all possible housing costs. Beyond just the mortgage and the down payment, taxes, insurance, maintenance fees and expenses, closing costs from the sale, and more must be considered.
Your mortgage loan officer will be familiar with what kinds of expenses you could be looking at in your area. Bring your financial paperwork from the past two years to your first meeting, including tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements.
Reach out to your loan officer to see what else you need in order to understand your possibilities and limitations.
3. Get Pre-Approved
Often you can’t even make an offer on a home unless you can show that you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage. Taking this step before even looking at houses will also help you to know exactly which homes are worth your time to consider.
Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a much larger mortgage than you can reasonably afford, or the mortgage funds available to you might be smaller than expected. Your loan officer can help you get what you need and want without putting yourself at financial risk.
This is about you and your happiness, so confidently ask your mortgage loan officer to explain what you need to know. Call today to start down the road to buying your ideal home!