Have you been renting, living at your parents, sharing a place with way too many roommates and are thinking it is time to purchase your own place? There’s no better time than now to make that plunge and be on your way to home ownership. Here are some tips on a few things to do and a few things you should not do.
First, check your credit score and history before getting pre-qualified. You want to make sure there are no errors or incorrect reporting that you need to fix. This will also give you your approximate credit score, so you can share it with whomever you plan to use to get pre-qualified. Getting pre-qualified before you start looking at homes is very important because you know what your purchasing power is and that it fits comfortably into your budget.
Once pre-qualified, there are a few things you want to avoid. Do not go out and make a large purchase such a new car, truck, atv, or boat. Doing so will likely affect your debt to income ratio, which can have a very negative affect on the amount you qualify for.
Do not go out and apply for credit cards or other loans and do not run up the balances on your current cards. Keep them below 30% of their credit limit. These things can drop your credit score by multiple double digits, and perhaps disqualify you from being able to purchase at all.
Secondly, it’s time to pick a Realtor® to work with on what is probably going to be the biggest purchase you will have ever made to date. This is something you should give some purposeful consideration.
It seems everyone knows a handful of Realtors® these days and there has been a large increase in the number of new real estate agents over the last two years. While working with a friend may sound fun, remember this is one of the biggest investments you will make and having someone with plenty of experience can be the difference in landing that new home you want or watching someone else get it.
Once you choose a Realtor®, have a lender in place and are qualified to purchase, do not forget to review your budget and your targeted monthly expenses.
Discuss with your Realtor® what your closing costs will be and the various ways you can get someone else to pay them for you. This way you can keep your cash as a reserve.
There are several options from the seller paying them to using the first-time home buyer program to get yourself $3500 towards your closing costs.
There are various mortgage programs and lenders with title companies that offer group savings of up to $1000. Again, this is where an experienced Realtor® can help guide you through various options and save you a lot of headaches, not to mention save you a lot of money.
This article was written by Matthew Trudel, Broker-Owner Five Star Realty, Windham.