Ready to purchase your new home?
Most people rank their home purchase as their number one financial decision. To make sure you are prepared for such a major decision, it is wise to carefully consider all of the factors from many different angles.
Gather All Relevant Documentation
When starting out, make sure you have all of the important information readily at hand. Take a look at your credit report to make sure there are no major issues before your lender runs a credit check. When preparing to speak with your loan officer, make sure you have your bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns on hand.
Do the Math
It is important to make sure you are getting the best deal with an interest rate that works for you. Know your debt-to-income ratio, your credit score, and how much you’ll need to save for a down-payment.
Get Pre-Approved and Apply
After you find your ideal lender, it’s time to start the application process and get pre-approved for your mortgage or home loan. Based on your credit, different options will be available to you affecting the amount you can take out and which homes you will be able to consider for purchase. Knowing what you’re pre-approved for will help you when you start shopping for your new home, and help you stay realistic with your expectations.
Work with a Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent
The right real estate agent can be your best friend. They should be able to match the expectations you have for your new home with your pre-approved budget. Different agents may specialize in different kinds of homes or focus on certain neighborhoods. Do some online research or listen to your trusted friends and family when choosing an agent.
Get Your Priorities Straight
While your ultimate dream home might still be a few years off, there’s no reason you can’t get all features that you consider to be essential right now. It’s about knowing what you can’t live without and what you can compromise on. For most people, neighborhood, square footage, and number of bedrooms are often non-negotiable. Decide where you can be flexible.