Apr 13, 2012 : 04:04 AM

  • Your Checklist Prior to House Hunting

    Maybe you've been eyeing the real estate market and you think that you're finally ready to purchase your first home. If so, read on to be sure you're in the best position when jumping in. 


    The rules have drastically changed in the real estate market. At one time, getting a mortgage seemed to require little more than just simply stating your income on paper. Today, banks want extra documentation that you can truly afford the home you want to buy. But you have a variety of options to choose from with banks to credit unions to mortgage brokers. 


    So don't let that scare you from reaching out to buying your new home. Your dream of becoming a homeowner is still within your reach and here are a few tips to help you achieve your dream.


    First take a good look at your credit. Many people have no idea how their credit reports look. Unfortunately, that puts buyers in a poor position. If there are errors on their credit reports, those must be handled before you try to purchase a home. Sometimes there are items that truly shouldn't be on your credit while other times there are knocks against your credit that you may be able to get removed.

    Checking your credit score at least three to six months before you apply for a mortgage will give you time to address any issues.


    Start saving now. These days a downpayment for a home doesn't come easy. You may need as much as 20 percent down. However, there are still some mortgage loan programs that will allow you to put down much less.


    Make sure you are working with an experienced real estate professional. This kind of purchase requires lots of information, education, and knowledge. Having an agent that you are comfortable with and trust to guide you through the first-time home-buying experience will make the process so much easier.


    When you're preparing to buy a home, if you haven't already, make a budget and start watching where your dollar goes. Those little extra expenses like a trip to the coffee shop or shopping sprees are often areas where you can likely cut back to save for your downpayment.


    Picture your home. By envisioning the home you want to buy this will help you tremendously once you start your search. Start looking online, in magazines, and around your chosen neighborhoods to figure out where your priorities lie. This strategy will help you make sure you have an idea of what is important to you in a home. Since you've been renting, this might not be crystal clear at first. But as you make your list and explore homes with your agent, you'll begin to see which things are deal breakers and which things are a must-have.


    Buying a home is like looking for the right relationship. It can be exciting at first, frustrating at times, and so comforting once you've finally found the right one. If you would like help with your house hunting, just give me a call at (250) 305-7034 or toll-free at (888) 305-7034 and I would be more than happy to help you equip yourself for the market. 

     

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