5 Pre-Home Buying Tips
With the housing market that we are seeing right now, it could take a lot of time and work to get under contract on your dream home. Let's talk about some tips to follow to ensure the smoothest process possible!
1: Know Your Credit Score
There are many programs out there to check your credit score for free. Knowing where your credit score lies can help you get an idea of where your overall finances are. You can decide if you think your credit is in good shape or if it could use some work. This is also something that a lender can help to advise on. Lenders will pull your credit score during the approval process, so now there shouldn't be any surprises when you see what it comes back at.
2: Save Up for a Down Payment
If there is small talk on deciding to purchase a home, start saving money. To ensure that you don't have to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), a lender will require 20% down. With the housing market being strongly in favor of seller's, the more you can put down, the better your offer may look to a seller. 20% is a lot to save up for, let alone trying to save more than that. Talk with a lender, most will have programs that only require 3% down on a home! If you need recommendations, we have a few lenders that we work closely with and would be happy to share!
3: Pay Down Debt
Tip 3 goes hand in hand with the first one. All of your debt could hurt you, so paying down debt will help raise your credit score. Think credit card debts, student loans, anything that you might owe! Also make sure to continue paying all of your payments on time.
4: Talk to a Lender:
Before you start home searching, get in contact with a lender. This is when you can talk to them about what your best options may be. They will also be able to tell you what you can afford, this is a critical step to make before looking at houses! We can't put in an offer on a house without the pre-approval letter from your lender, and there is nothing worse than losing out on a home while waiting for it to come in.
5: Do Not Finance Anything New
Do not finance any new furniture for the home, new car loans, etc. That should go without saying but you'd be surprised! Plus it's exciting to get all new furniture for the home you are about to buy, but withhold until you sign the papers and the keys are in your hand! Taking out a new loan could hurt your credit and your debt to income ratio. We wouldn't want that to make you lose your dream home.