Is one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2021 to buy a new home? You’re not alone! Millions of people are planning to become homeowners in the next 12 months.
How can you accomplish this goal? Read on for some smart tips that will help make homeownership happen for you.
Check Your Credit
Credit reports may contain errors that could knock you out of the running to get approved for a mortgage loan. Pull your credit and examine every line closely. If there are creditors that show up in error or late payments when you were never late, dispute them to get them removed.
Look at Your Spending
It’s important to understand where your money’s going before you move forward with buying a home. Are you wasting money? Do you have too much debt? Can you really afford a house? Track your spending and study what you find. If you see that your finances can cover a monthly mortgage payment, taxes, insurances, and the inevitable home repair emergencies, progress with your plans.
Make a Budget
Use the data you tracked with your spending to create a monthly budget. List the payments you already have, then add in your potential homeowner expenses. If your money is stretched too thin, either decide to purchase a less expensive home, or postpone your search until you save more money. Speaking of saving…
Save ’Til It Hurts
Now is not the time for the big-screen TV, shopping spree, lavish vacation, or new vehicle. You’re going to need cash for a down payment, moving expenses, and any renovations you want to do to your new digs. Start cutting out frivolous spending today. Doing things like packing your lunch, forgoing your daily expensive coffee, and eliminating your online shopping will help you increase your nest egg and make your resolution of homeownership closer to reach.
Pay Down Debt
While you’re saving, you also need to tackle any credit card debt you’ve accumulated. Revolving debt balances can decrease your credit score, making it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage loan. It can also throw off your debt-to-income ratios, which loan officers use to help decide how much of a loan you can manage. Double and triple your monthly payments, if possible, to get your balances as low as possible, and DO NOT charge anything else.
Your next step is finding a reputable loan officer. He or she can answer your questions and explain your mortgage loan options. You’ll need to fill out an application and allow your credit to be pulled. Hopefully you can get pre-approved because it shows the seller you’re serious about purchasing a home. That can give you an upper hand during the negotiation process.
Find A Realtor
During your home search, your real estate agent will be one of your most valued friends. They can advise you of the areas where you’re looking, schedule home visits, and assist you in navigating the purchasing process effectively. Find a Realtor who is friendly and approachable as well as knowledgeable.
You may have your heart set on a large house brimming with amenities and an expansive yard. Check yourself. Unless you have unlimited resources, you’re most likely going to end up giving up on some of your must-haves to get into your first home. Choose two or three must-haves that are reasonable for your price range – and be happy with them. After all, you can always upgrade in the future.
Prepare for Decision-Making
Taking decisive action may make the difference between landing the home you want and losing out. Define your budget and your house goals up front so that when you find a property that fits them both, you can move quickly. Make as competitive an offer as you can, as quickly as possible. Hopefully, moving confidently into the negotiation portion of the homebuying process gets you to your resolution sooner rather than later.
Buying a new home in the New Year is exciting and a little scary. Getting your finances, and expectations, in order now can help you reach your homeownership resolution in 2021 with as little stress and the fewest drawbacks possible.
Need to find a professional loan officer to answer your questions and lay out your mortgage loan options? Call us today for a free consultation.