Six Things To Do Before Starting Your House Hunt
Ready to buy a home? Here’s what you need to get started.
Buying a home is a big decision. How do you start the process? Make a wish list, go to a few open houses, put in an offer and eagerly wait to find out if your offer has been accepted or rejected? If it were only that simple! Before you start your house hunting adventure, go through this list of house hunting tips to help ensure a smooth home buying process.
1. Check Your Credit Score
Mortgage lenders look at this three-digit number to determine whether you are creditworthy. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate, which is what you’re aiming for. Not sure what makes up your credit score? We break down the factors here.
2. Boost Your Credit
If you’re less than satisfied where your credit stands, don’t give up – there are ways to boost your score. Take steps to repair your credit as soon as you can. If you think there has been a mistake, contact the credit bureau to correct any incorrect information.
3. Find A Mortgage Lender
Not all mortgage lenders are the same. Different lenders offer different rates and programs. Be prepared to do some research, and shop around to find the best mortgage lender for you.
4. Mortgage Pre-Approval
You’ve found a mortgage lender to work with…what’s the next step? A pre-approval spells out how much a lender has agreed to loan you. In hot markets, this pre-approval gives you an upper hand during your house hunt, assuring the seller that you’re serious about purchasing a home.
5. Find A Real Estate Agent
Two heads are better than one, right? There’s no reason to venture into the home buying process alone. Along with helping you search for a home, a realtor helps you navigate the market, negotiate deals and tackle the paperwork that comes with buying a home.
6. Save Money For A Down Payment
Prepare your finances before you start house hunting. How much you’ll need for a down payment depends on the type of loan you get, the mortgage lender and your financial situation. The earlier you begin to save, the better!