Seven Tips To Help You Buy A Home In 2019
Buying a house is a long process and finding the perfect house for you and your family can be tough. Lots of people give lots of advice and it can be hard to narrow down what is really important to keep in mind. The key to homeownership success is doing a lot of these tips BEFORE you start your home buying process. The biggest mistake folks make is by jumping right into things with a realtor or finding their perfect home and then find out they can’t afford the home or have things holding them back.
These seven tips it should make the process a little easier:
- Avoid changing jobs- You should avoid changing jobs while trying to buy a house. It is better to remain at the same job because it can raise red flags to the lenders even if it is a good career move for you. If you are changing jobs, try to do so after you’ve bought a home or at least a year in advance.
- Avoid large purchases- Try avoiding big purchases like buying a car or going on a big family vacation. Even if you’re pre-approved you should still avoid spending big amounts of money as this can change your credit score. Case in point – a new homeowner had just gotten pre-approved and was waiting for the closing but was so excited about the upcoming purchase she went out and bought new furniture for the new home. This resulted in a crash of her credit score and she had to re-apply for the loan after fixing her credit.
- Make a budget- Create a monthly budget. You may find you need to cut out anything you don’t need every month, like a subscription service or your morning coffees. Once you are living within your means and putting money away in savings, stick with that until you reach your goals.
- Check your credit score- Most lenders don’t approve people with a credit score that isn’t good. They are prone to approving people with credit scores that are good or excellent. A good credit score ranges from 690-720 and an excellent score ranges from 720-850. If your credit score is low, work with a financial coach to find ways of raising your score.
- Pay down debt- It is good to pay your down debt because the less debt you have the higher your credit score is. The higher your credit score is the more likely it will be for a lender to approve you.
- Set aside money for after move-in costs- Once you’ve saved enough for down payment and closing costs, you should set aside a little more for after you move in case anything needs to be fixed and for any furniture you might need to purchase.
- Find an experienced real estate agent- Real estate agents are trained to spot any unforeseen circumstances that affect a home’s value or price. Local agents might have access to pocket listings. (Homes that aren’t being advertised online yet or aren’t on the market yet.)
Hopefully these tips, or at least some of them, can help you focus on the first steps of your home buying process. If you really want to do a “deep dive” into the home buying process, attend one of our Homebuyer Education Classes where you will also receive financial counseling too. To see what else we have to offer check out www.nwwvt.org.
Author, Bailey Aines, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont part-time employee