Buying a house is one of the best New Year's resolutions you can make, but achieving that goal will take work. Fortunately, there are proven steps any aspiring homeowner can take to simplify the process and achieve their dream home. Our real estate agents are happy to help, with five tips for making your dream of homeownership a reality in 2020.
Try a Budget Test Run
While you're in the early stages of searching through Midland homes for sale, it's helpful to try a test run of the budget that you'll use once you buy a home. Consider your likely monthly mortgage payment, utilities, maintenance, and homeowners insurance. Living in this budget ahead of time will give you a taste of what your finances will be like once you own a home, and can help you get a solid idea of what fits your budget.
Start Saving for a Down Payment
Securing a mortgage and buying a home is so much easier when you save a substantial down payment, and there's no better time than right now to start saving. This is another area where living on a set budget can help because it's easier to save when you plan. Set aside whatever you can from your regular paycheck and look for extra opportunities to save when you have an infusion of cash from tax returns or other one-time windfalls. Any savings that don't go toward your down payment can be put to use covering the cost of moving into your new home.
Clean Up Credit Score
Having cash on hand is a great place to start, but there's more to securing a mortgage than saving for a down payment. You'll also want to make sure your credit score is as strong as possible, to get access to the best terms for your loan. Start by requesting a free copy of your credit report from the three major bureaus and review it carefully. Make sure everything on your report is correct, clear up any old, outstanding debts, and avoid opening any new lines of credit.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
All of your financial legwork will start to pay off when it's time to secure a mortgage, and you'll want to get pre-approved for a loan. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will let you know precisely what sort of budget you're working with, and show sellers you're a serious buyer. Don't be afraid to speak with multiple lenders until you find the right match.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent
No matter how much experience you have shopping for homes, the right real estate agent will make life much easier when it's time to buy your next home. You want an agent who has an in-depth knowledge of your target market and the real estate trends there. Your agent should be your best source of advice on every step of the process, so it's worth taking the time to find someone you trust. Ask for referrals, interview agents, and find the right choice for your needs.
Whether you're shopping for the first time or searching for an upgrade to your present home, our team is here to help you achieve your goals. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Columbia area.