5 Things to Know Before Purchasing a Home

When it comes to financial decisions as big as purchasing a home, there are a few things you should know in advance. Educating yourself on the ins and outs of home buying can help save you a lot of headaches in the long run! With the right real estate agent and effort, the process to buy a home can be made simple.

Here are 5 things you should know before purchasing a home:

1. Get Your Credit Score Up: Before searching for a home, the most important step is to make sure your credit score is up to par. Your credit score will be the biggest influential factor in determining what your loan terms will be. If it is below 700, it needs repair. A good to excellent credit score will help you save a lot of money in the long run when it comes to interest on your home.
2. Make Sure You Are Preapproved: Before you can shop around for a home, you will need to get preapproved by a lender for your mortgage. Preapproval requires verified employment, income, and credit history. This is different from pre-qualification, which is not so thorough. When you are preapproved, a realtor will be able to assist you with much more detail. Preapproval will give you an estimate of what you can afford in the area, and it will also give sellers the security that you are a serious buyer.
3. Budget for Expenses: While you may receive preapproval for a large amount, there are other things to consider. There are a lot of fees that come with purchasing a home, including closing costs, insurance, property tax, and other items. While you may be preapproved for a high amount, consider all of the other expenses that come with your mortgage payment! Your income should comfortably be able to handle all the associated expenses besides the mortgage payment each month. Utilities, taxes, food, insurance, and other expenses can add up quickly.
4. Work with a Skilled Realtor: Not all real estate agents will be able to provide you with the same experience. Every neighborhood is unique, and a skilled real estate agent that knows the area well will be able to provide you with a better experience than one who is not.
5. Don’t Stress Over Cosmetic Issues: When searching for a home, keep in mind that you can easily change cosmetic issues like wallpaper and carpet condition. Paint is relatively inexpensive, and carpet can always be removed! If the house has good bones, don’t let ugly wallpaper influence your decision to pass on the house.

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