Get The Best Loan Possible: Do not move your money around, open new credit cards, amass too much debt, or buy a lot of big-ticket items three to six months before. Check your credit score and fix any discrepancies. Build up your savings account to show you are not living paycheck to paycheck.
Pre-Approval Vs. Pre-Qualified: Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan, but getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much they will lend you. This will save you from liking homes you cannot afford.
Do Your Research: There are many hidden costs and fees associated with buying a home, such as processing fees, closing costs, loan fees, property taxes, association dues, LIDs, etc…
Don’t Buy On Emotion: You should not buy a home based on paint color, countertops, or flooring as these are changeable things. Look for the things you cannot change like location/neighborhood, floor plan/square footage, and lot size. Doing home improvements over time is how you customize your home.
Get a Home Inspection: This is an unbiased third-parties opinion of the condition of the home. If there are issues you have knowledge of, it can terminate your contract. Use it as a bargaining tool to lower the price or have the seller make repairs prior to you purchasing the home from them.
Don’t Wait For The Market To Change: The housing market is unpredictable; the time to buy is when you find the perfect house. If you wait to see if the price goes down, you may lose the opportunity. You can always submit a reasonably lower offer.
Have Questions Prepared: You should ask questions like how old the roof is, if the basement ever takes in water, what the average costs of the utilities are, and inquire about the tax exemptions. If the home has been renovated, ask if the proper permits were pulled and who the contractor on the job was. Being well informed is important.
Have A Checklist Ready: This list should only include your most crucial needs like the price range, the number of bedrooms and number of bathrooms, school districts, and the space needed to start or expand your family, etc…No house will have everything you want.
Debt Vs. Income Ratio: Your mortgage should not be more than 28% of your income. Do not over extend yourself because you want a fully upgraded house right now. It’s smart to buy a home that costs less than you are pre-approved for. In the long run, you will have more money to invest on home improvements.
Loan Education: There are many different types of loans such as conventional, government backed, fixed rate, variable rate, etc… The key is finding the right one for you and knowing if/how it will change over time.