The process of buying a home can be a lengthy process, approximately up to 6 months. There are many steps that should be taken into consideration before taking on a mortgage.
1.) Check Your Credit Score. Lenders are much more strict on who receives these loans, and high credit scores are a top priority. Lenders are recommending that potential buyers obtain a copy of their credit score 6 months before they buy to check and correct inaccuracies. Also, you may be able to improve your score if it is borderline in that short time.
2.) Figure Out Your Real Budget. Before starting your house search, create a real budget. Determining what you are able to pay each month will make the process a lot smoother and eliminate some options right away. Calculating taxes and maintenance should also be included in this budget. Setting an unrealistic budget price would just cause more stress in the process.
3.) Get Pre-Approved For a Mortgage. Even if you know you will have no problem securing a mortgage, getting pre-approved helps speed up the process. Most agents will not work with you unless you are pre-approved or you might not even be considered.
4.) Make Sure Owning a Home is the Right Choice. Just because you are approved for a mortgage, does not mean that you should definitely buy a home. You should evaluate your wants and needs from where you live and any future plans you might have before purchasing a home. Every person is different, and everyone should look at their lifestyle before buying. Do you plan on relocating after a couple of years? Is this the house you want to settle down in? These questions could change your mind on the home you are buying.
5.) Figure Out Your Ideal Location. Most homebuyers have a general region or city they would like to live, but it is recommended that buyers become more specific with their location. The surrounding environment will be how you live your life. Figure out what amenities are important to you and if they will be nearby, such as grocery stores, public transportation, or highways. Check out open houses in the specific area to find someone who knows the area well.
6.) Set Realistic Expectations. Everyone wants the top of the line amenities, but your home might not have one of the qualities you are looking for, such as a walk-in closet. However, this does not give a realistic reason to rule out this as an option. The ‘must-haves’ are much more important in the buying process more than the nice-to-haves’.
You can never be too careful when seeking a mortgage. We have mortgage professionals to help you every step of the way.