With the start of the new year, many families are on the search for their perfect home. If you’re like me, the process can become overwhelming if you don’t have a plan in place. When I closed on my first home, I felt like I had finished a marathon! I missed out on a few homes that I really liked because I didn’t have myself together when I began my search. This time around, I will be much more prepared, and hopefully, my experience will make the home buying process easier for you as well. 😊 I’ll list a few tips below:
1. Know your credit score before you begin shopping. There is no point in shopping if you don’t qualify for a mortgage. (If you’re paying cash for your home, this obviously isn’t for you, but please tell me your secrets!)
2. Have your paperwork ready. Have at least 2 months of bank statements, W-2’s, tax returns, and paystubs. It’s likely that you’ll need more, so it’s best to gather as much as possible before you apply for approval.
3. Apply for a Pre-Approval/Pre-Qualification. Most realtors won’t take the time out to show you any homes if you don’t have a letter to show that you are approved for a mortgage. Time is money, so it’s best to have the pre-approval letter if you want to be taken seriously.
4. Be realistic. Chances are, you won’t get a 3,000 square-foot home with 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms with a pool for $200k. Look online (Zillow, Trulia) for ideas of the price ranges of homes in your area.
5. Don’t forget about the school district! It’s a terrible feeling to find the perfect home, then realize that the school serves Kibbles ‘n’ Bits to your kids. Do your research!
I hope this list helps with your home search! In my next post, I’ll cover the different types of loans available, including some 0-down mortgages! Happy hunting!