We are in the beginning process of buying our first home in April and boy am I glad we started thinking about this early on. There are so many decisions that go into this process that it can seem overwhelming at first! A real yard. A garage. A Basement. Making the switch from renting to owning is SO exciting, but it is also a huge decision with so many options. If you’re thinking about purchasing your first home I have compiled a list of things you will want to do 9-12 months out before buying your first home that will make the process much easier.
Check your credit score. Get a copy of your credit report, we use creditkarma.com because it is free and secure. Often times your credit will have errors that could lead to higher rates on loans. Avoid last-minute bombshells by checking your score long before you’re ready to make an offer this gives you the opportunity to correct any mistakes in plenty of time.
Determine how much you can afford. Figure out How Much House Can You Afford?
Lenders are happy to lend you as much as your debt load allows. Many articles that I have read state that The cost of your home — including taxes, maintenance and other costs — should not exceed 28% of your monthly income.
Make a down payment plan. Most conventional mortgages require a 20% down payment. If you can swing it, do it. A couple years back we set up a capitalone360 savings account and started a dedicated savings account for a down payments. Being able to put 20% down will make your loan cost be much less, and you’ll get a better interest rate.
Prioritize what you most want in your new home. Proximity to work? A big backyard? An open floor plan? Being on a quiet street? This has been the hardest part for us is location.
Start a home maintenance account. Speaking of saving, start the good habit now of putting a little aside each month to fund maintenance, repairs, and home emergencies.
Happy House Hunting! XOXO
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