Buying a home, for a new homebuyer, can sometimes feel like a lot to handle, but chance favors the prepared mind, and preparing for homeownership is something that any prospective buyer can start doing today. Whether you have short-term, long-term, or no plans set in stone for your new home purchase, getting prepared early will make sure that when the day comes, everything is less stressful.
But what can you do to prepare for homeownership? We’ve put together some of our top tips for preparing for homeownership.
Start Saving Now
You may have your eyes on your dream home already or maybe you’re just considering getting into the market for a home. In either case, you can benefit by getting a head start on your home purchase by saving today. In many or most cases, small, regular deposits in a dedicated savings account or liquid investment account can add up to big bucks before you know it.
By saving now, no matter what your timeline is, you can be ensured that you’ll have–at the very least–money set aside for improvements, moving expenses, or even a downpayment. For most homebuyers, the goal in saving early is to make a bigger downpayment, which in turn will lower your monthly payments and lessen how much interest you pay over time.
Evaluate Your Finances
If you haven’t noticed yet, most of our tips for preparing for homeownership revolve around the finances of your purchase. After all, being financially prepared can save thousands of dollars over the course of a decades-long mortgage and over the lifetime of your home to boot. As you prepare for homeownership, go through and evaluate your finances and comb through them thoroughly.
Not only should you understand what you have, but understand where your credit stands. Credit, payment history, and your assets are three of the biggest driving factors for how willing a lender will be to trust you with their money. Your credit score and credit report basically assign a numerical value to you so lenders can see how credit-worthy you are as a borrower.
As you dive into your finances and specifically your credit, look to eliminate paltry debts and get rid of any revolving lines of credit that you don’t use often or haven’t used in a long time. Granted, closing a credit card or any credit accounts can be detrimental to your credit score in the short term, so be aware of making these changes too close to applying for a mortgage.
Start Having Conversations with Professionals
Real estate, while relatively simple for a savvy homebuyer, isn’t necessarily something you want to take on all by yourself. It’s important to have a good Rolodex of quality, experienced real estate professionals at your disposal to help make the process smoother, easier, and pain-free. Start by having conversations with real estate agents and let them know you’re looking, what your budget is, and what kind of homes you’re searching for.
Next, get pre-qualified for a mortgage. While mortgage pre-qualification is limited in its time period, it’s not a bad idea to get some hard numbers so you know what you can borrow, what kind of interest rates are available, and what types of loan products are available to you. To get started on your lending journey, get in touch with the experienced loan professionals at Tidewater Mortgage Services, Inc.