Whether you are looking to purchase a home for the first time, or you have owned a home in the past, the lending environment has changed and perspective buyers really do need to prepare in advance of their search. Here are some tips that will make the purchase process a whole lot easier:
1. Make sure you know what’s on your credit report. Pam Wright, with OnQ Finance wrote a great article on how to check your credit. You need to get your report early in the process so you can make sure that it is accurate and clear any negative or erroneous information. It’s free to get your credit report; there’s no need to sign up for services that want to charge you.
2. Get rid of as much debt as possible. Lenders want to make sure that you are not overextended, and that you pay your debts on time. The better your payment record, the higher your credit score. You also need to make sure that once you do start the mortgage process, that you do not take on any new debt. Here’s another great article from Pam, explaining what not to do.
3. Have cash available for the purchase. While you may be financing the bulk of your home, you will still need cash for such things as earnest money, inspection/appraisals, HOA fees, utility deposits, moving expenses, etc. These will be in addition to the down payment. Your down payment amount can vary, but it would be wise to have at least 20% available for a down payment.
4. Have an idea of where you’d like to live – This is obviously the more fun part of preparing for a purchase. If you are looking to purchase in a particular subdivision, I can send you free, no-bother, updates on homes being listed in that neighborhood. Just click here to sign up, and don’t forget to add the Subdivision name in the Comments section (Georgia subdivisions only please). You will then receive automatic updates anytime any home is listed, sold, or there is a price change. If you are looking for new construction in a particular area, let me know as there are new subdivisions coming in the North Metro-Atlanta area.
5. Get pre-approved. There was a time when you went house hunting, put in a bid, and then you went looking for a mortgage. Those days are gone. In today’s market, you need to be able to show up front that you can qualify for a home in the price range for which you are looking with a Pre-Approval. This will also you save you time and frustration when your realtor is trying to find homes for you that will fit your needs and budget.
The purchase of a home is probably one of the biggest investments you will make in life. Being properly prepared will help make the process go more smoothly and reduce any negative surprises.
Please contact me if you are considering buying or selling.
Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
The Dinsmore Real Estate Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com