1. Keep your money where it is
Did you know that even a small decrease in your credit score can result in a large increase to your monthly mortgage payments? Three to six months before buying a property, don't make large purchases or relocate money. This could risk
your credit score going down.
Lenders need to know you're reliable and want a paper trail to provide you with the best loan. You'll have a hard time receiving a loan if you open additional credit cards, rack up debt, or buy expensive products. So if you are planning
on buyingr a home, ensuring your credit score is where it needs to be, is the first and most important step.
2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Pre-qualified vs. having a pre-approved mortgage are two different things. Anyone can be loan-prequalified. Pre-approval implies a lender has reviewed your finances and told you how much they will offer you. Being pre-approved saves
time and energy so you don't look at houses you can't afford. It lets you compare deals and interest rates, so you can simulate your monthly payments before you agree to make any commitments.
3. Research the Property
When you buy a home, you are also buying the land it sits on. Get a property survey so you know more about the land, where it ends, begins, and any regulations regarding development or use. Knowing your property lines can prevent a
dispute with your neighbor and your property tax may be based on how much land you own, so design an accurate map.
4. Don't time the market
Don't try to time the market to buy. Housing market predictions are futile. When you locate your dream home and can afford it, buy. Real estate prices rise, fall, then rise again. You'll miss out if you wait for the ideal time.
5. Avoid Sleeper Costs
Sleeper fees distinguish renting from owning. Most individuals focus on their mortgage payment, but they also need to include property taxes, utilities, and HOA dues. New homeowners must be prepared for repairs, maintenance, and property-tax
hikes. Budget for sleeper expenditures to avoid losing your home and putting yourself in a financial jam.
6. You're buying a home, not dating it
Emotional home buying will crush your heart. Love can lead to terrible personal decisions…and also financial ones. Emotions and instincts are different. Going with your intuition means you recognize a great deal. Obsessing about the
paint color or backyard is emotional. Be calm, collected and wise; after all, it's an investment.
7. Physically inspect your home
Would you buy a car without inspecting it? No way. Inspect your home. A couple of hundred dollars might save you thousands. A house inspector's job is to present facts so you can decide whether to buy. It's the only way to acquire
a neutral opinion. If the inspector finds problems, you can use them to negotiate a cheaper price. Spending money on an inspector now is better than spending a fortune later.
8. Get to know the neighborhood
Drive by at all times of the day… morning, noon, and night. Many homebuyers have been devastated after finding the perfect property only to realize they didn't like the area. Test your commute to work, your favorite restaurants, grocery
stores and activities. Simulate what life would be like living there. Research the school district even if you don't have kids, because an excellent school district can add 20% to a home's worth.
9. Find a Great Agent
Once you’ve decided to buy a home, you need a trusted guide by your side. If you are looking for a local expert to help prepare you for the buying process and find you a home that meets all of your requirements, feel free to reach