You’ve decided to start looking for a new home. That’s a big life decision which means you may be feeling both excited and overwhelmed. To help put your mind at ease, we’ve put together a list of some of the things you can start working on right now to help make the process easier for you and your family so you can spend more time focusing on finding the house of your dreams.
1. Save for a down payment
If you haven’t started yet, begin saving for a down payment now. At a minimum, prepare to have 5% of the cost of the house set aside for your down payment. However, keep in mind that typically home buyers who have a higher down payment prepared can lower their monthly mortgage payments. Make sure you understand what private mortgage insurance is as well so you can decide if this is something you would like.
Find a Mortgage Lender
Find a mortgage lender who listens to you understands your needs. While interest rates are an essential factor, it’s also beneficial to work with a trusted, professional and experienced lender who will look out for your best interests and help you avoid unnecessary fees. We have a great mortgage team here at Marine Bank that’s happy to guide you through the process and answer all of your questions.
Once you find the right mortgage lender, they will begin the pre-approval process so you can know exactly how much home you can afford. By supplying your loan officer with some financial information, they will review it and tell you exactly how much they can lend you and help you pick the home loan that's best for your situation. This will give you an idea of the homes you should be looking at based on a specific price range.
Take it Easy on Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a big part of the home buying process. Don’t make any purchases that will affect your score negatively. While looking for a home, you may also be in the market for new furniture or other large purchases, but wait until after you’ve purchased your home to get those items. Your credit score evaluates your ability to responsibly handle debt, so if your score is lowered, it will affect the amount of your loan. Not sure how credit scores work? Here's what you need to know. If you're looking for ways to improve your credit score, start doing these 5 things.
Make a Priority List
What are the features in a home that are non-negotiable? What about the features that you would like, but don’t require? Make a list of priority features in a home. If you need multiple bathrooms, a garage, and a basement, you’ve eliminated a large portion of homes that don't make the cut, which saves you some valuable time.
These are a few things to help you start on the right foot as you begin your journey of finding your new home so you can enjoy this time and worry less about what to do next. If you have questions about the home buying process, our lenders are here to assist you!
PS: Looking for some tips for first time home buyers? Check out our blog on First Time Home Buying Tips from a Recent First Time Home Buyer.