After a lot of thought, you’ve decided to buy a home. Great decision! Mortgage interest rates are at a record low. This makes it a perfect time to buy a home.
Before you meet with a Mortgage Loan Originator who will help you secure financing for your dream home, there are a few steps you can take to make that initial meeting quicker, more productive, and most importantly, stress-free. It is important to be prepared before you buy a home.
Research Areas Where You’d Want to Live
The first step after deciding to buy a home is choosing where you’d like to live. You may have a specific area in mind, or you might still be considering your choices.
Taking the time to research these areas will help you when your Mortgage Loan Originator tells you how much home you can afford with your current level of income and other factors.
Make a “Wish List”
In addition to researching the area where you want to live, make a list of desired features in your ideal home. Some common things homeowners put in their “wish lists” are the:
- Desired number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Home type (ex. single-family home, condo, or townhome)
- Kitchen size/design
- Environment (ex. city living, suburban living, or country living)
- Garage spaces
- Backyard size
Your list of desired features and home must-haves will be as unique to you as your fingerprint. Think about what you’ll want from your home and how it fits with your overall financial position and long-term life goals.
This list will help give you the clarity you need to shop for a home once your Mortgage Loan Originator has finalized your pre-approval.
Don’t Make Major Changes
In order to make the homebuying process as smooth as possible, we recommend not making any major changes in your lifestyle or finances until your home is purchased. Fluctuations in how you live can change your credit score or debt to income ratio or may complicate the loan process by requiring extra documentation. Any of these changes may cause you to miss out on your dream home.
Things such as buying a new car, switching jobs or even applying for a new credit card could all change your score and affect your homebuying options. We recommend waiting until after you’re settled in your new home until you make those big moves.
Save Down Payment Money
The down payment is one of the most important parts of buying a home. Not only will a larger down payment help you stand out as a favorable buyer, but it will also lower your monthly payments.
In the past, 20% of the home purchase price was a standard amount for the down payment. However, in recent times, buyers have put down an average of 5-7% of the purchase price for their down payment.
When you meet with your Mortgage Loan Originator, they will advise you on the best down payment amount for your unique situation and goals.
The journey to buying a home Is an adventure that can be easy, affordable and enjoyable. For more than 30 years, we’ve helped thousands make their dream of homeownership a reality. With our professional advice, we can do the same for you!
To learn more about homeownership and how you can best be prepared for your big day, read our best Home Buying Tips.