Anytime you are getting ready to purchase a home or other property, it can be scary and stressful, especially if it’s your first time. What many people may not realize is that it can take years to be financially ready to make such a large investment between a down payment and boosting your credit score. Here is a short guide to help you navigate what you’ll need to do financially in order to purchase your next property.
Build up your credit score. If you don’t have a good credit score (700 or above), it could take years to build it up to a place that will help you get approved for a good mortgage rate. If you’re buying a home with a spouse or partner, your lender will probably consider both of your credit scores. The best way to build your credit is to pay down your credit card balances and avoid applying for new credit like a loan or another credit card. You’ll also want to use a free credit report monitoring service like Credit Karma that can help you keep track of your credit and offer you other recommendations.
Determine a budget. Even though it would be nice to just look at million-dollar homes and think we can buy them, most of us can’t afford that kind of luxury living. Determine your budget for the property you want to purchase. How much do you bring home each month? Your mortgage payment shouldn’t be more than 30 percent of your total monthly income in order to keep you financially sound.
Save for a down payment. After you’ve determined your budget and started working on your credit, the next step would be to start saving for a down payment. Lenders typically want between a three to 20 percent down payment of the purchase price. For example, if you’re thinking about a $200,000 home, expect to pay between $6,000 and $40,000 upfront depending on the loan. You’ll also need some extra money to pay for an appraisal, an inspection and closing costs. If you’re one of the lucky ones, many people choose to save their tax returns to help with these costs.
Once you’ve accomplished these three tasks, you’ll want to continue to educate yourself on mortgage options and also find an experienced real estate agent to help guide you through the process. Contact United Country Real Estate if you’d like to find a qualified agent near you to help you get started. Learn more at www.UnitedCountry.com.