Purchasing a home can be a daunting task. There are several stages and several rounds of checklists to complete before the process is done – and that’s just taking into account what you have to do during the home-buying process. Don’t worry though: There are many things you can do to prepare yourself.
Here are 4 ways to prepare for a home purchase:
Get Your Credit Under Control
You’ve come to the exciting realization that you want to purchase a home. Great – but buying a home will never be more than a dream for you if your credit isn’t under control. Your home purchase relies heavily on your ability to get a loan, and getting a loan requires you to have pretty decent credit.
“Decent” credit varies based on bank and private loaner requirements, so while you’re getting your credit in order, it’s a good idea to shop around. At the end of the day, you want your credit to be the best it can be so you’ll have plenty of options.
Figure out Your Finances
You want to know how much money you have to spend on a home (or, really, on a down payment). In order to figure that out, you have to sit down and have an honest conversation about your finances – whether that’s with your spouse, financial advisor, real estate agent or all of the above.
Save Your Down Payment
Now that you know how much you can save, it’s time for you to put your plan into action. You’ll discover quickly that it’s a lot easier to say you’re going to save money than to actually do it. There are a few things you can do to ensure the allotted funds start to trickle into your savings account, and here are a few suggestions:
- Make coffee at home. $5 here and there doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up quickly. Skip the coffee shop on the way to work and save yourself money and time.
- Set up auto-drafting. It’s hard to spend money that’s not in your checking account. Automatically moving money from your checking to your savings makes the savings process easier.
- Round up the change. When you’re balancing your financing, round the change up to by $10 (so if you spend $152.60 on something, note in your finances that you’ve spent $160). You’ll find you have extra cash in no time.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Don’t just go with the first agent who pops up on Google. Do your research. Find the agent’s website for information about them. Getting as much information about their experience and work ethic through their virtual presence as you can. Check out their online reviews too and see what other people liked about them and what they didn’t.
It’s also important to meet with the agent in person and make sure they’re personable and attentive. You can ask for references from past and current clients during the meeting as well.