As a professional REALTOR®, I know how difficult if can be for young couples and singles to get into the housing market these days. There are a few key things you can do to make the process easier and make owning your first home a reality:
Check your Credit Report – Getting your credit report is very easy. Clearing fraudulent activity is much harder. If you find something negative on your report, it could take months to clear things up.
Pay Down Debt – Banks and mortgage lenders need to know you’ll be able to pay their loan first and foremost, and they like to see a high credit score, which your debt negatively affects. Start to pay off those credit cards, and put off purchasing that new car or making any other major purchases until after you have secured a mortgage.
Start Building a Down Payment – A 20-percent down payment is something to shoot for, but it’s not necessarily required or realistic, particularly for first-time home buyers. A 5 percent down payment is the minimum required to secure a high-ratio loan but then you’ll also be paying for mortgage insurance.
Research Neighborhoods – This is the fun part. If you’re not sure which part of town you’re looking to live, get out and explore! Drive around, walk the streets, visit the shops and eat in the restaurants. Research schools too – even if you don’t have children or don’t have children in public schools, you have got to think about resale.
Get Pre-Approved – Unless you’re paying cash, having a pre-approval letter from a lender is very important. You’ll know exactly how much of a mortgage you qualify for and eliminate disappointment down the road. The last thing you want to do is find your dream home only to find out you can’t afford it.
I helped many, many buyers find and purchase property over the last 17 years. Give me a call today…I’d love to help you find your perfect first home.