Whether buying a home for the first time or the fifth time, you need to have a strategy in place. Here are 6 tips:
1. Get Pre-Approved
Pre-approval for a mortgage home loan lets you know how much home you can afford as well as gives you higher standing with sellers when a home purchase contract is submitted.
2. Work on Your Credit
If your loan officer finds issues with your credit, you will need to take care of these problems right away to clean up the credit history. (Sometimes there are errors on credit reports that need to be corrected.) Remember, a low credit score may hurt your chances for getting the best mortgage rate.
3. Work with An Agent
Your real estate agent will give you guidance throughout the home-buying process and will negotiate on your behalf. Your agent will also provide you with current market housing information for the areas of interest.
4. Narrow Your Home Search
Location is a very important factor when conducting your home search. You may want to live near work or family or shopping and the interstates. Or, a walkable neighborhood may be important to you. Once you have narrowed down locations, you will then need to decide what home features are most important to you. Make a list of the “must haves” of what you want in your next home.
5. Find That Home
You and your real estate agent can now search for homes that meet your criteria. At this point, you will be looking at homes on the Internet as well as touring homes in person. Be sure to keep good notes on homes toured. When you find a match, you will work on a purchase contract with your real estate agent who will add negotiation terms. Your agent will guide you in making a sensible offer.
Before committing to a home purchase, it is wise to have a whole-house inspection to make sure it is in good condition and a sound investment.