Even amid all of the coronavirus issues, you’re still trying to move ahead with plans to buy a home. You’ve saved for a downpayment, and you’re ready to find the right place at the right price for you and your family. Where do you start?
Here are six steps to take now to get you on the road to homeownership that much faster:
- Know your credit score. Before you do anything, it’s a great idea to see where your credit stands. To get a free copy of your credit score, visit www.annualcreditreport.com. Review your credit report for accuracy and report any issues you find to your lender or the credit bureau. The higher your credit score is, the better your home loan rate will likely be.
- Calculate your debt-to-income ratio. Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio determines how well you manage your debt and if you can afford to repay a loan. You can calculate your DTI easily by dividing your total monthly debt payments (rent, student loans, personal loans, auto loans, credit cards, etc.) by your monthly income. For example, if you have $2,500 in monthly debt and your monthly income is $8,000, your DTI would be $2,500/$8,000, or 31%. Generally speaking, the lower your DTI is, the better – below 36% is ideal.
- Know what you can afford. There are calculators available to help you determine what your estimated monthly home loan payment might be (based on several factors). And once you find out this information, you can adjust your budget accordingly. Use our loan calculator (LINK TO: https://quailcreek.bank/calculators/loan-calculator) to see where you stand.
- Get pre-qualified for a mortgage. It’s always a good idea to get pre-qualified for a home loan. Not only will you learn what you can comfortably afford, but having a pre-qualification in hand will show sellers you’re a serious buyer when it’s time to negotiate. Talk to a Quail Creek Bank lender today to get started. (LINK TO: https://quailcreek.bank/borrow/home/lenders)
- Make a list of everything you want in your home. Once you know what you can afford, the search can begin. Write down your “wish list” for your perfect place. Consider such things as the commute to work or school, local traffic, HOA restrictions, schools, shopping availability, and more. Decide whether you want a new home or one you can fix up or remodel. Be as specific as possible, and don’t hold anything back.
- Hire a trusted real estate agent. Your agent can help you find a home within your budget that has most or all of the things on your “wish list.” He or she can also answer questions you may have about different communities in your desired location, and may even identify questions or issues you had not considered. It’s a good idea to hire an agent through referrals from friends or family members.
When you take these steps to prepare now to buy your home later, you’ll set yourself up for a smoother and more successful outcome. Please give us a call if you have any other questions or would like to discuss our home loans further.