Happy New Year! It’s a tradition for many people to make New Year’s Resolutions at the start of each new year. A goal for some is to buy a new home. If you’re thinking about buying a new home, you’ll want to take the steps necessary to prepare. To help you, I am going to share eight steps to buying a home that you may find useful before you begin your home search.
Eight Steps To Buying a Home (Part 1)
Step 1: Find out how much home you can afford
This will depend on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down payment and the interest rate. Since it’s the beginning of the year, now is a great time to review your credit reports and your budget. You can receive a free credit report annually from each of the three credit bureaus. To keep an eye on your credit throughout the year subscribe to a credit monitoring service or use one of these free websites: Quizzle.com or CreditKarma.com. Reviewing your budget may reveal opportunities to cut back on some expenses and increase your savings.
Step 2: Shop for a loan
Before you start looking for a home, get preapproved for a mortgage. It’s a good idea to do your homework so that you save money in the long run. Talk to several lenders, compare costs and interest rates, and negotiate to get the best deal. Finding the right loan ahead of time will help you avoid the disappointment that comes with finding your “dream home” and then later finding out you can’t purchase it.
Step 3: Learn about home buying programs
Texas offers many home buying programs for first-time home buyers. There are also programs at the local level. These programs may offer down payment and closing cost assistance in addition to low, fixed interest rates. FHA loan programs offer lower down payments and can be a great option as well. The terms and criteria vary by program, but if you contact me I can help you gather information about available programs.
Step 4: Shop for a home
After you’ve gotten your finances in order, the fun part starts. You’re ready to start looking for your home! This step shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are many online resources that allow you to start your search online, but you should work with an experienced Realtor®, like me, to help you with the home buying process. I will help you research neighborhoods in the League City, Friendswood, Pearland, Seabrook, Clear Lake or Houston areas, provide comparable values, and negotiate with the Sellers’ agents. Remember, the agent that puts the sign in the yard works for the Seller and is committed to the Seller’s best interests…not the buyer’s. Trying to buy a home without representation may actually cost you more money overall.
If you’re ready to put a home buying plan in place to reach your goal of homeownership in the new year give me a call today. I can help you assess your current situation to see where you need to start.
Don’t miss Part 2 where we’ll take a look at what happens after you find the right home. Subscribe to my blog today.