It goes without saying that buying a home is a major decision and a significant investment, probably one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. You want to be sure that you’ve invested the right amount of time and deliberation into the process so that you are happy and satisfied with your purchase for years to come.
To help with this goal, there are a number of steps you can take to prepare for a successful experience:
- Credit Rating - Start by checking your credit rating. When you approach a lender for a mortgage, you don’t want any surprises. If you do find errors, take steps to get them corrected.
- Budget - Take an honest assessment of your financial situation so you know what you can afford. Determine a comfortable down payment and monthly payment that fits your budget. In some cases, you may qualify for a bigger loan than you are comfortable with, so understand how the payments will fit into your income and lifestyle.
- Loan Eligibility - We strongly suggest you get preapproved, and your realtor may be able to suggest a lender that can be a good mesh with your financial ability. Buyers that are preapproved stand a better chance of getting their home, especially if there are multiple offers on the property.
- Home Characteristics – Make a list of the important features you need in your new home. Prioritize your list, with the most important features at the top and the “nice-to-have” items further down the list.
- Location - Decide which town, subdivision, or neighborhood characteristics are important to you and your family. Consider your new home’s proximity to schools, parks, hospitals, shopping, employment, recreation, entertainment, etc.
- Find an Agent - Interview real estate agents and find one who you trust and who understands your needs. Plan to work closely with your agent and communicate frequently. The better the relationship you develop with your agent, the easier it is for him or her to show you houses that hold true promise to become the new home of your dreams.