Happy New Year! It's a brand new year, and 2017 is going to be great!
What do people like to do at this time of year? They make New Year's resolutions! And if you're thinking about making a move this year, then you're going to need the RIGHT resolutions to make it happen! Here's a great start!
Resolution #1 - Get that credit score looking sharp!
Your credit score is a huge part of buying a home, because it not only helps a lender determine whether they will lend you money for a mortgage, it can also make the difference between getting a lower or higher interest rate. Make sure your credit is the best it can be! Pay all your bills on time, don't overextend yourself so you have a problem paying your bills, and don't overdo it with your credit cards!
Resolution #2 - Work on your down payment (and then some)!
This one can be tough, but it's really important. Typically, you will need some amount of money as a down payment when buying a home. Some people think you need 20% down to buy a home, but you can get a loan with as little as 3.5% down. There are some loans, like VA loans for veterans, that allow for zero down payment. There can be other costs involved when taking out a low down payment loan, so keep that in mind when considering these loan options.
Besides needing money for a down payment, you will also need money for closing costs (typically around 3-5% of the loan amount) and money in reserves (the bank likes to see you have money in the bank, around two to three months' worth of mortgage payments). Start saving your money NOW so you can get into the home of your dreams when the time is right!
Resolution #3 - Speak with a mortgage professional!
This is the most important part of buying a home. You need to speak with a mortgage professional and get prequalified for a loan. There are a few reasons for this. First, you want to find out how much a lender will actually loan you before you start looking at homes and falling in love. The worst thing you can do is find your dream home only to discover you can't actually afford it.
Second, a good lender can give you advice about what to do to improve your ability to get a loan, and increase what you can qualify for. For example, if you have a credit card with a high balance, they might suggest you pay it off so you can qualify for a larger loan amount. Or they might tell you to take care of some dings in your credit so you can get a lower interest rate. The right lender can be an invaluable asset!
These three resolutions will get you on the right track to buying your home! For more on getting yourself on the right track to buying your dream home, click here for my ebook, "The Dream Home Buying Guide". If you have questions about the process, or if you need a great lender to speak with, don't hesitate to call me at 908-705-5110, and I can help you get started. Happy New Year!