1. Save Money
You should already be setting money aside for your down payment and other expenses which arise that you didn’t know about or plan for at the beginning. Don’t forget about closing costs, HOA fees, purchasing a survey, etc. Every real estate transaction is different, but it’s best to be cautious and save as much money as possible to cover your expenses.
2. Work on your Credit Score
Whether you plan to buy soon or in 5 years, start building up your credit score now. Pay your bills on time, especially your big purchases like car payments, and then focus on your credit cards. Keep your credit cards at 10 percent or lower. It’s important to have a good credit score so that you may be approved to buy your home!
3. Keep a Steady and Reliable Job
Two-year employment is ideal, but at least a 2-year history of your job is required. If you have over a 6-month gap in employment, it can start to get tricky to get you approved through a lender.
4. The Truth Behind Your Down Payment
You don’t actually need 20% down to buy a house. There are several grant and down payment assistance programs that can help with up to 7% of your closing costs and down payment. Those programs aside, the FHA minimum down payment is still only 3.5%. Every lender or bank is different, so be sure to talk to your loan originator about your options.
5. Don’t Feel Obligated to Buy at Your Highest Approved Amount
Even if you are approved for a higher-priced house, that may not always be the smartest choice depending on the needs of you and your family. Look at your budget and see how much house you can afford to live in and still be comfortable with your finances. You never want to be ‘house-poor’.
Questions? Comments? Please feel free to give us a call. Century 21, Northsideunnamed Mark Castricone, 210-837-2776 or Daisy Castricone, 210-837-2779