Are you ready to take the next big step in your life by purchasing your first home? That’s great! With rent prices increasing, you might have realized that you could instead be paying for a mortgage on a house that you own, and that investment could increase in value over time. But before you take the leap, you have to make sure your finances are in order. After all, you will need to get a large loan, so you will need to prove your worthiness to a lender.
What are some of the ways that you can work toward making sure you are financially strong enough for a home purchase in a really competitive market? Continue reading for some helpful tips.
First, do your research into the areas that you want to live in. You might check resources like Nuwber, do some digging into an area’s amenities and crime stats, visit an area multiple times, etc. Or, you might already know what area you want to be in because you grew up there, worked or went to school there, or have family and friends there. No matter what, once you have an idea of where you’d like to live, do some research into the home prices there. Searching online can yield a lot of results when it comes to figuring out how much money you would need in order to purchase your dream home in the city or suburb you prefer most.
When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will check your credit. So, if you are planning on buying a house soon, another thing you will need to do is take steps to ensure your credit score is as high as it can be. Get a free credit report so you can see your score and make sure that all of the information that they have on you is accurate. If your score is currently too low, there are many steps you can take to bring it up, but be aware that it will take some time. You can start by setting a budget to make it easier to afford your monthly payments, credit card bills, etc. Then, make sure you pay your bills on time every month.
In addition to improving your credit, another smart step involves reducing your debt in relation to your income. Lenders will look at what is known as your debt-to-income ratio. In other words, how much do you earn and how much do you spend? Are you spending too much to be able to comfortably afford a mortgage? These are the types of questions that a lender will ask about you, so they should be questions you ask yourself first. And, like raising your credit, reducing your debt and improving your debt-to-income ratio doesn’t have to be a huge challenge. If you take one step at a time to limit your spending and budget more appropriately. You can start to see a shift that will make you a more qualified borrower.
The nice thing about taking the steps above and setting a budget is that you can begin to put more money aside in savings for a down payment. Most people strive to put 20% down, at a minimum, to avoid any fees. So, you can get an idea of how much you will need to save based on the average price of the type of home you want.
Once your finances are in order, you can apply for a mortgage to confirm that you qualify. Then, hire a real estate agent you trust to help you find the perfect place to live.