Are you looking to purchase a home? Are you feeling overwhelmed with knowing where to start? We’ve created a Home Buyer Checklist to get you started in the right direction. Follow this guide and you’ll be a home-owner in no time!
Check Your Credit Score
With a good credit score, you have a better chance for getting approved and a lower interest rate. Make sure to pay your bills on time and to keep your debt-to-income ratio at an affordable level. It’s 👍 okay to have some debt, but if you are able to pay them down more, it will benefit you in the pre-approval process.
Straighten Up Your Finances
Getting your 💲 finances in order is a critical step in the home-buying process. It’s time to figure out how much home you can afford, with a large part determined by how much you want/can save for a down payment. Once you’ve got the down payment figured out, set the funds aside and do not change your financial situation. Lenders will track spending and deposits into your accounts, and large unexplained sums or monies from unusual sources could cause difficulties. Don’t make any large purchases – buying a 🚗 car or taking a big family vacation that you pay for on a credit card can affect your debt-to-income ratio and the amount lenders are willing to loan you.
Talk to a Mortgage Lender
There are many types of mortgage lenders. Some only make certain types of loans, while others may have a broader ability to meet specific lending needs. It’s worth your time to 🛒 shop around for the best mortgage lender. Closing costs also vary by lender, so having an understanding on what you’ll be responsible for is important. Compare loan estimates from at least 3 different lenders to be sure you are getting the best deal.
Getting a pre-approval letter is an important step in your home buying journey. There is a difference between being pre-approved and pre-qualified, and you’ll want to be pre-approval. The lender will ask for certain documentation and you’ll need to fill out a 📝 mortgage application. The lender will review the documents and give you a letter showing how much you’ve been approved for as well as a likely mortgage rate and loan program. Keep in mind that a pre-approval letter is typically valid for only 60 to 90 days, after which it will need to be updated.
Work with a Professional Realtor®
After you’ve got your finances in order and you are working towards getting pre-approved, contact a 🧍 professional Realtor®. They will be your ally in the home buying journey and will provide you with up-to-date information needed to make a good decision. Contact one of our TCP Real Estate agents today for expert advice and guidance in the home buying process.
Go Home Shopping
With your Realtor® by your side, it’s now time to start shopping for your 🏠 home! They can assist you with choosing the right neighborhood in the right price range. You will need to decide which features matter to you (number of 🛏️ bedrooms, yard size) as well as your top priorities (i.e. location to work, school district, amenities, etc). Once you’ve selected a home, your Real Estate agent will draw up an offer and when accepted can help answer questions about the closing process.