You’re going for it – you are finally ready to purchase your first home. So, what should you do to prepare? A year before you put down an offer on your first home, you’ll want to ensure that you have taken these four steps. From organizing documents to scoping out the neighborhoods you are considering, you’ll want to make the home buying process as easy as possible by being prepared.
Check Your Credit
Is your credit in tip-top shape? Do you need to pay a few bills down to increase your score? You should address this a year before you purchase your first home to make sure that your credit score is high enough to qualify for the interest rate you want.
Your credit score is what determines if you qualify for a loan and what your interest rate will be. The better the credit score you have, the lower your interest rate on your mortgage will be. Give yourself a year to make sure that your credit score is in good shape.
When you apply for a mortgage loan, you will need two recent pay stubs, your previous two W-2’s, your tax returns and your past two months’ bank statements. Purchasing a home can be a lengthy process, but you can make it easier and more efficient if you gather this information sooner rather than later.
Determine Your Down Payment
You’ll need to determine how much your budget allows for a mortgage and how much you can afford for a down payment. By determining this a year ahead of time, you have time to save for the down payment and potentially be able to put even more down. The more money you can offer upfront, the better interest rate you’ll receive as well. This shows the bank that you are a serious buyer.
Scope out Neighborhoods
Do some research to determine which neighborhoods you may want to live in. Which are located in the best school districts? Is the neighborhood close to amenities and convenient for transportation? Are your neighbors too close for comfort? Is there an HOA fee? What is the crime rate in the area? Make sure to answer these questions beforehand so that you can focus only on homes that are in the neighborhoods you want to be in. As they always say…location, location, location.
For a detailed run-down of all the items and logistics you must consider before purchasing your first home, please do not hesitate to give me a call- 210.478.8555