Buying a house is a complicated financial and logistical process. The right preparation can make a huge difference in making the process go as smoothly as possible. Here is a list of the most important things to do before buying a home to help you prepare:
There are a few financials you should check on before working on finding a house. Your potential mortgage lender will look through every detail of your financial life, so the more you can address beforehand, the better. Things to consider include your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, emergency savings and regular cash flow.
The simplest way to budget for buying a house is to make a list of your current expenses. First, tally up your personal monthly expenses like credit card payments, loan payments, car payments and any other recurring expenses specific to you. Then, create a list of the expenses related to your new house. This list should include mortgage, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and mortgage insurance payments. Comparing the two will help you determine how much house you can afford and how much to budget for.
Shopping for the best mortgage lender before you begin your home search is a great way to stick to your budget and have a smoother buying process. Each lender has different terms, policies and practices, so finding the best fit is crucial. Once you decide on a lender, get a pre-approval letter from them as proof you are financially responsible for affording a mortgage up to a certain amount. This helps secure your place in competitive home sales and will make you a more attractive buyer overall.
Working with a real estate professional during your home buying process will save you time and frustration. Find an agent or broker you want to work with first and rely on their expertise to find the perfect home. The knowledge and resources available to real estate professionals will make the search and purchase much smoother.