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Buying a house and relocating is time-consuming. Still, you can make the entire experience more manageable if you prepare in advance. Creating a budget, speaking to a loan officer, and getting pre-approved are all activities you can do ahead of time. So, are you buying a home in the new year? Here’s what you need to do.
1. Know Your Budget
How much can you afford to spend when you buy a house? Knowing your budget can help determine which homes fall in your price range. To create your budget, start by assessing how much money you have to put down for your home purchase. Remember that you’ll be expected to make a down payment and pay closing costs.
Talk to a loan officer to find out how much you’ll have to pay per month based on how much you’re borrowing. Then, of course, you’ll have to shop around for the proper loan officer, so call several before settling on the right one for you.
2. Check Your Credit
Your credit plays a significant role in the amount you can borrow and what kind of interest rate you’ll get. Check your credit report for errors, and work with the credit reporting bureaus to fix the mistakes. Each bureau has its own process for correcting errors. This takes time, and you’ll need supporting documentation. Get started now to ensure that your credit report is suitable for lenders when it’s time to borrow.
3. Get Pre-Approved
Pre-approval is the process lenders use to determine how much a home buyer is qualified to borrow. Getting pre-approved is a lengthier, more in-depth process than getting pre-qualified, and it’s a better measure of whether you’re an excellent candidate to borrow money. Getting pre-approved is a way to feel confident that you’ll be able to borrow the funds needed to purchase the home you want.
4. Research Homes In the Area
Find out what kinds of homes are for sale in the area where you’re considering purchasing a house. Some neighborhoods may be more to your liking than others. Exploring neighborhoods and looking at listings in advance will help you target your search to the areas and homes that interest you when it’s time to start searching in earnest.
5. Know Your Must-Haves
Decide what house features are most important to you. Do you want a fireplace? A pool? How many bedrooms? What size yard? Knowing these must-haves in advance can help you narrow your choices while exploring home listings. This allows you to save time looking at homes that don’t have the features you want.
6. Find a Real Estate Professional
Get a jump start on your search by finding the real estate professional that will aid you in your search. It’s wise to interview a few candidates before settling on a real estate agent that will meet your needs. Some questions to ask real estate professionals include:
- How many years of experience do you have?
- Are you available for last-minute home viewings?
- How will we communicate, and how often?
The answers to these questions will help you choose a real estate agent you’ll be happy with.
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