Getting ready to buy a house? Before you head out on your first home tour with your agent, arm yourself with the following advice.
1. Double check your credit
If you’re thinking about buying, you should already be “keeping score.” Know your credit score, and make sure to rectify any credit reporting errors before lenders take a look.
2. Understand the added cost of certain features
As you make your list of “must-have” home features, be sure you consider the added expenses that may come with them. Your math should include things like the cost of landscaping maintenance for extra acreage and energy costs that come with added square footage.
3. Discover where your dollars go
Get up close and personal with your monthly budget and track every single thing you purchase over 30 days. Review your credit card and bank statements to categorize where you spent each dollar (e.g., entertainment, food, clothing). Several online sites and software programs can help you track and categorize spending. This will help you identify where you can cut back to put more money toward a monthly mortgage payment.
4. Research mortgage options
Explore your options. While a broker or your bank can be a good source of information about mortgages and may offer great rates, that’s not always the case. The best way to get a great deal on a mortgage is to shop around, see what’s available and find the best option for your individual circumstances.
If you’re ready to buy a home, an experienced agent can help you calculate how much house you can afford, then find a home you’ll love within your budget. I’m here to help!