Preparation

Essentials

Purchasing a home is likely the biggest financial choice you will ever make and regardless of whether it’s your first house or you’re an experienced buyer, a great deal of thought must go into your decision.

First things first: Before you ever start the search for your new home, you must know how much you can afford. The general formula is to multiply your annual income by three and that’s how much you can afford to spend. However, other factors figure into it, including how much you have for a down payment, your credit score and the amount of debt you have. Those factors can increase or decrease what you can afford.

Purpose

Why have you decided to purchase a home? Are you tired of paying rent and you’ve decided you’d rather be paying to own your own place rather than paying a landlord? Have you outgrown your place? Do you want a bigger yard? Are you looking for rental or investment property? Do you want to move to a different part of the community? Is your commute too long and you want to shorten it? Knowing the answers to these questions will be crucial in helping you purchase the right home.

Do you have extra income?

Whether you’re looking for that forever home you’ve always dreamed of or a rental, property is a great investment. Owning real estate is an excellent way to build equity, as well as garner a greater return on your initial investment.

Build Your Credit Score

FICO scores, or your credit score, range from 300-850. The higher your number the better interest rate you can receive for your home loan. If you have any credit issues, i.e. outstanding debt or disputes, resolve them. This could increase your score.

Getting Pre-Approved for A Loan

Be sure to apply to several lenders to see which one will give you the best interest rates. We recommend you do this within two weeks, so that the inquiries won’t damage your credit report.