- Check Your Credit Score
Before you contact a realtor to help you search for your perfect dream house, you need to check your current credit score. Having a good credit score is important and necessary if you wish to apply for a mortgage loan to purchase the house. Without a viable credit standing your mortgage application will most definitely be declined. A good credit rating can also help you get low mortgage rates on your home loan. If you are worried about your credit score, contact any of the three credit bureaus to get your score. Remember that scores may slightly vary from all three sources. If you wish to improve your credit score, a simple thing like paying your credit card bill can be very effective.
- Set a Budget
Setting a budget to purchase a house is a decision that you have to make before you reach out to a buyer’s agent or a realtor to help you select a house. When you are planning to purchase a house through a mortgage loan, buying the biggest and most luxurious house your credit score allows for may seem like a good idea but trust us, it isn’t. You eventually have to pay for the house as well as the interest on mortgage amount. Huge monthly mortgage payments will not only negatively impact your overall lifestyle but can even force you to sell the house within a couple of months of purchase to make the ends meet.
- Find the Right Realtor
Finding a right buyer’s agent can be tricky but once you have found one, it can work toward your advantage. If you have already discussed your budget with the agent and are pre-approved (we’ll discuss pre-approval a little later in this post), the agent will show you the structures that fall exactly in your purchase range saving you time spent on house hunting.
- Pre-Approval is a Must
If everything is good with your credit rating and you already have an agent by your side, you need to try and acquire pre-approval for the mortgage. Having pre-approval or prequalification can be to your advantage as it will allow you to know how much amount of loan you are entitled to for the purchase of the property. This is especially handy if you are trying to buy a house in a competitive market. Once your buyer’s agent shows you a house that you like, you can immediately make an offer for it as a pre-approval ensures that your mortgage application will not be rejected.
- The Down Payment
Make sure you have saved up enough money required to make the down payment for the property. While different types of home loans require varying percentages of down payments, an ideal situation would be to make as much as possible. This may not get you a low interest rate but a good amount of down payment can significantly lower your mortgage payments easing up your monthly finances. However, if you cannot determine an ideal percentage for the down payment, ask for suggestions from your realtor.
- Know the Extra Costs
When you are tight on budget, you need to cover everything and that includes these small extra costs like home appraisal fees, home inspection fees, closing costs and others. You don’t want to be that guy who buys house but don’t have enough money for property taxes. So, always factor-in extra costs.
- Know That House Buying Process Is Time Consuming
If you’re going for house buying with the imagination that you’ll have a new home for yourself within 10 days, you’re totally wrong. A house buying process is long, time consuming and tedious.
Although the exact time of house buying process from first walking into the house and liking it to buying is about 30-40 days, you’re not going to buy the first house you’ll see, will you? You might spend from a week to months searching for the right house and that’s the tedious part. That’s why the connections and expertise of a buyers agent comes handy in here. However, choose a realtor carefully as it affects your whole house buying process.