Steps To Take Before Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home can be quite a daunting task. Deciding how much home you can afford, cleaning up your credit, boosting your score and saving for a down payment can be very costly. Years before even searching for a realtor, you need to adequately prepare yourself financially.

Give yourself several years to begin the process. Yes, I did say several years.

Decide where you would like to live.

When determining the area right for you, pick a place you would not mind residing in for at least 7 years after your purchase. Consider proximity to the office, access to public transportation, great schools districts, the social scene, etc.

Find out how much home you can afford.

Realtor.com and Trulia.com are great websites to help you determine how much house you can afford. It’ll provide perspective on the types of properties for sale and what sellers are asking for. Find out how much homes in your preferred area are going for and then you’ll know whether you need to wait a while to save up more money, downsize to a smaller home or consider a different neighborhood.

Boost your credit score.

You credit score plays a vital role in purchasing a home. A score of 740 or above will help you secure the best interest rates. If your score is lower than 740, however, expect to pay a higher rate. Be sure to clear up any blemishes on your credit report early. That kind of stuff can take some time so don’t wait too long. Make responsible financial decisions that would help increase your credit worthiness.

Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get a free report from each of the three major credit bureaus. You will have to pay to see your FICO score from each of the bureaus.

Start saving for that down payment.

In addition to building stellar credit, save enough for a down payment of at least 20% of the home price to secure the best mortgage terms. 20% saves you from having to pay for private mortgage insurance, or PMI, which protects the lender if you default on the loan. 20% of $205,300 amounts to $41,060 – that’s not a small amount of money. Start saving now! And don’t forget to keep the cash liquid so you have direct access to it when you need it.

@Robinrazzi


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Robin is a digital content creator and has worked in the digital space for nearly ten years. “Robinrazzi” is a nickname given from a former colleague and is a perfect integration of her name and one of her greatest hobbies of having a camera in hand to capture once in a lifetime moments like paparazzi. She has traveled the world covering entertainment, celebrities, events and anything trending. She holds a BA in communications from Penn State and MS in marketing from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves as Digital Content Manager for WHUR and the Howard University Radio Network.

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