Approximately two-thirds of adults describe the homebuying process as complicated- and it is. There are a lot of details and people involved. Knowing where to start and what to expect can be difficult. So we wanted to share some tips on what to expect when looking to buy a home, and how to prepare.
Before you start looking for your dream home, take a look at your credit score. Our housing counselors recommend your credit is at least 640 before you apply for a loan. It can take several months or more to build up your credit, depending on how far you need to raise it. This should be factored into your homebuying timeline.
Building your credit is important because it can save you a lot of money down the road. A good credit score can help you get a lower interest rate on your loan. Even just a small percent reduction on the interest rate can add up to big savings.
Being patient is critical during the homebuying process. At times you can feel rushed to find your home, but taking your time can help you make sure you find a home that has everything you need and is within your budget.
Again be patient! Don’t take the first offer that comes to you. Not all lenders are the same. Find the right lender who will help you get the best package possible. And keep in mind, if you get a pre-approval, that does not necessarily mean that is what you can afford. Know your budget before you agree to a loan!
The best thing you can do to prepare to buy a home is to see a homeownership counselor. They will help you look at your budget, figure out what you can afford and help you apply for your mortgage. Our Director of Housing Counseling explains, “It’s so helpful to have a third party person who doesn’t benefit from any of the transactions, and can act as an advocate for you.” She recommends housing counseling to all homebuyers to help make sure you find a home you can afford to stay in for as long as you wish.