Spring and summer are generally considered as the primetime home-buying season. During this time, there is often more inventory and new listings available when compared to other parts of the year. Buying a home is a process so if you are looking to make a move in this year’s home-buying season, here are some simple tips on getting started:
Save For Down Payment
Save. Save. Save. While there are great low-down payment options available, you still want to save as much as possible while you get ready to purchase a home. On top of simply having funds for a down payment, you will also want to consider having funds available for closing costs, repairs and/or renovations, and as a general cushion. Oftentimes, the more cash on hand you have, the more options you will have during your home search.
Check your Credit Score
Your credit score is an important factor in determining your interest rate. It can also be an immediate disqualifier if your FICO score is poor. For these reasons, it is important to give yourself time to improve your credit score (if needed). Every so often we see clients who had an unexpected or even inaccurate collection or derogatory account that negatively impacts a borrower’s FICO score. By checking your credit scores early, you give yourself time to address these potential issues.
Scrolling for homes online is always exciting, but knowing what you are qualified to purchase is paramount. During the loan pre-approval process, you will learn important information such as what you can expect your monthly mortgage payment to look like, how much in funds you will need to close, and ultimately what you can afford.
Connect with a Realtor
Find a great real estate agent and share your needs and wants with them. They will help you find properties that meet your criteria and also point out homes and neighborhoods you may not have originally been considering.
Visit Open Houses
It is important to drive around neighborhoods and walk through properties to get a full feel of the property. Pictures can make any house look great on the internet but walking through the actual property can give you a whole different perspective. As you walk through various neighborhoods, you may even realize that your needs/wants list changes – And that’s OK. It is always good to have an open mind in your property search.