Buying a home can be one of the scariest decisions of your life, but once you take the leap it can be the best life-changing decision.
Before visiting with a realtor or starting your house hunting, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Is my credit good enough? What is my budget? What lender do I want to go with? How much will I get approved for? Below are some helpful tips to get you started on the decision making process and headed towards the perfect home!
• Credit Score
When looking at receiving financing, past credit history is a factor that will be looked upon by a lender. It’s always a good idea to check your credit report every so often to maintain a healthy overview of your finances and your credit scores. Knowing this information will give you a better idea as to the rates you could get when applying for a loan.
• Set a Budget
Use a mortgage calculator to figure out an estimated monthly payment that you can comfortably afford. Then discuss that amount with your lender. Making sure you can meet your future mortgage payment is undoubtedly the most important part of owning a home successfully. Remember that you will also have extra expenses that will not be included in your payments, such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, and utilities.
• Get Qualified
Knowing what you can afford will take the stress away while house hunting. Find the perfect lender that you feel completely comfortable with and will help you understand your loan options. Get prequalified! You will then have an estimate of how much you can comfortably afford before you start looking at homes.
• Extra Costs
Sometimes your home will need new flooring, a new water heater, or maybe even new sidewalks. Planning for these expenses carefully can help you avoid one of the most common causes of missed mortgage payments: carrying too much debt. It's important not to overextend your credit cards and other debts so you stay current on your payments and don’t hurt your future credit.
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