Like finally seeing New Kids on the Block live in concert, buying a home is one of the most significant milestones you can achieve in your lifetime. It not only helps you build your wealth, but it gives you a place to make memories with the people you love. While a big undertaking, there are a few steps you can take to make your home buying experience as pleasant as possible.
1. Check Your Credit
Mortgage lenders take a look at your credit score to help them determine the rates they’re comfortable offering you. It would be embarrassing to have your lender find out the information you weren’t even aware of on your credit reports, so it’s wisest to check your own score first. You can catch any inconsistencies and address them before visiting your lender. Many of the credit bureaus offer free credit reports, and one such resource is Credit Karma.
Even if your credit score is not as high as you would like it to be, the report should give you some insight on how to improve it. The higher your credit, the lower your mortgage interest rate will be. So, be sure to pay your bills on time and consult a lender for even more ways to improve your creditworthiness.
2. Determine Your Price Range
If you want to buy a home, chances are you’ve been saving up for a while. Cash reserves are needed, but even if you have a large down payment ready, you still need to determine how much you’ll be able to pay on your monthly mortgage payments.
Consider consulting a lender or taking a seminar or class on home buying. Lenders may be able to help you decide how much you can borrow and ensure you can comfortably pay on those payments. They can also help you create a budget and stick to it. When you’ve decided it’s time to buy, avoid making any big purchases, and aim for paying a 3.5-20% down payment depending on your loan type.
3. Investigate Mortgages
There are so many mortgage and pricing options, so look around a bit before settling on one. Meet with a trustworthy lender to confirm if you qualify for a mortgage and determine how much you can afford. Together, you can figure out the best mortgage to fit your needs.
When you find the right mortgage, secure a pre-approval. This shows sellers that you are serious and able to buy a home. We recommend Brian Goldman at The Mortgage Firm Gainesville for your mortgage lending needs. The TMFG team can help you determine how much home you can afford and what your mortgage payments might look like.
4. Find a Real Estate Agent
Using a reliable real estate agent can help you find the home you’ve been dreaming of. They have your best interests in mind, and they’ll help make the process much smoother. A knowledgeable agent assists with everything from locating the perfect home to helping with closing essentials. Family and friends often have referrals, or you can visit open houses in your desired area to make connections.
5. Consider Other Expenses
In addition to your mortgage payment, find out what property taxes and homeowner fees will cost you. You will also have insurance payments and utility bills to consider as well as any home maintenance or repair.
When you start to house shop, make a list of the necessary things and the negotiable things. If there are anticipated decorating or remodeling costs, figure out what will work within your overall budget.
6. Scope Out the Area
To find your dream home, start by browsing listings online. When there are open houses that fit your qualifications, be sure to take the time to visit, which gives you the chance to see the neighborhood for yourself and ask questions of the listing agent. Write down a list of the important things beforehand and map out your visit.
Even if you’re unable to visit an open house, be sure to check out the neighborhood at various times of day to make sure it truly fits your needs.
Trust Golden Rule to Treat You Right
When you’re ready to buy your new home, contact the team you know and trust at Golden Rule Real Estate and Property Management. We have a whole group of realtors and people passionate about helping you land the home you love. Contact us today to get started on your home buying journey.