KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE
You decided to buy a home! You are excited to start the process and may even have some specific locations or homes in mind. The last thing you want is to find that your score is lower than expected or has a reporting error. Checking your credit before you start the home buying process will not only give you time to raise your score and fix errors, but also ensure there will be no surprises when meeting with a mortgage specialist.
GET LOAN PRE-APPROVAL
Getting loan pre-approval is an important step in the home buying process. The written guarantee of funds by a lender or broker establishes what you actually qualify for. This will keep you and your realtor on track when it comes time to consider properties.
FIND A GREAT REALTOR
Buying a home for the first or third time can be confusing and stressful. A quality real estate agent makes him or herself available to you and walks beside you through the entire process. Great agents like those at COListings, keep your best interests forefront when coordinating showings, negotiating contracts, arranging home inspections and providing loan assistance.
SAVE UP AN EMERGENCY FUND
Unexpected and urgent financial surprises can happen to anyone. They can be costly and challenging. Purchasing a home and homeownership will require additional funds that you may not have originally budgeted for. Saving up will give you peace of mind and improve your sense of financial security.
IDENTIFY NEEDS, WANTS AND MUST HAVES
Identifying your needs, wants and must haves is a necessary step toward finding the right house for you and your family. Make sure to include why you listed each item so you can prioritize your list. Revisit the list with your agent and during the home search so you can adjust any items that might have changed or moved in priority.
Job stability is a major factor in qualifying for a home loan. The lender needs to verify employment and income. While a new job could mean a raise or new opportunity, changing jobs during the process could cause delays in loan approval.
MAKE LARGE PURCHASES
Lenders have debt to income ratios that determine loan type and approval. Making large purchases like buying a car or pulling new lines of credit can impact not only your credit score, but may lead to lender approval issues. Wait until you have purchased your home to buy larger items.
HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Buying a home is an intimidating but exciting process. It is so easy to fall for a home that is outside your means or get heartbroken when a seller doesn't take your offer. Preparing for the buying process beforehand with your realtor can help manage expectations with the search and negotiation process.
HIRE A SUBPAR REALTOR
Having just any real estate agent will not serve you well when buying a home. A subpar realtor can seem unreachable and not available to take your calls. It can seem impossible to get questions or concerns addressed in a timely manner. If your home buying process is not a priority to a realtor, you may find yourself getting bad advice, not getting showings scheduled when requested and you may feel rushed during meetings. Communication issues and poor action time to submit offers can cause you to loose out on a home purchase. Make sure to do your research before you agree to work with just anyone.
SKIP A HOME INSPECTION
Once you start the buying process, you never want to say no to a home inspection. Purchasing a home is a huge investment and it is vital to know exactly what you are buying. Although the home may appear to be in good condition, the untrained eye cannot see electrical wiring, roofing, plumbing, insulation, and structural issues. As the buyer, you will be responsible for any and all existing issues and avoiding an inspection can be a costly mistake.