Prep Now to Buy a Home Later This Year
Buying a home takes a lot of preparation and planning. It’s important to not only get your finances in order but there are other tasks to do before you even start house hunting!
Keep in mind that this early stage of the buying process doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time on your part even before we start working together.
That way when you are ready to make your move, you confidently move forward to make that new home you just saw YOURS.
The only way that can happen smoothly is if you do your homework first, so start prepping and planning now if you want to buy a home in the months ahead or even a year from now.
My list below will help you stay on task. You’ll be ready to buy in no time:
Do Your Homework
Here are some key activities you should do now:
Learn about mortgage options. Do you understand how mortgage rates work, such as fixed rates or ARMS? Or the difference between a FHA loan and a conventional loan? Learn what’s available now and even the outlook for rates in the coming year so you aren’t overwhelmed or surprised later on. This way you can determine what type of financing will be best for you.
Explore neighborhoods. Check out certain neighborhoods in terms of cost and features of homes. Internet sites such as HAR.com will include neighborhood statistics and other helpful information. Another great resource I like to use is areavibes.com. This website has solid information concerning schools, crime, housing and employment of an area. Just type in an address and a “livability score” of that area.
This time spent “scoping out” different areas provides a reality check and will make you more efficient when it comes time to really house hunt!
Get Your Finances In Order
Buying a home is probably THE biggest expense you will ever have in your life. You want to be a responsible buyer and homeowner, so now is the time to focus on your finances. Don’t do anything that could disrupt your good credit!
Strengthen your credit score and build credit history. Your FICO credit score is your gateway to a good mortgage since lenders use it to determine your risk as a borrower. So, the higher your score, the better your loan options. And, if you’re a couple, then BOTH of you will need to work on your credit!
It can take 6 months or more to improve your score, so start today. Pay your bills on time, don’t take on any large debt, and double check your score for inaccuracies.
Know what monthly mortgage payment you can afford. Don’t be too tied to the big number, instead focus on what you want to pay per month. Plus, what a lender says you CAN afford can be very different from what you are willing to spend each month. No one wants to be stretched too much and become “house poor.”
Work backward from your desired monthly payment to calculate the price range you can afford.
Save for a down payment. Cut expenses and save, save, save (maybe find a high-yield savings account) right now! No matter if you get a 3% down loan or a conventional 20% down loan, lenders still want to see if you have enough cash reserves in the bank.
Remember, owning a home isn’t only its purchase price, but it includes other costs such as taxes, insurance, maintenance, and possible HOA fees. With a larger savings account, a lender knows you’re financially responsible and less of a risk.
Stay Focused by subscribing to my monthly buyer newsletter. These articles are full of helpful information that will make your home buying goals reality. Email me to make sure you are on my list. And of course, anytime you have a question…big or small please reach out. I love to help my clients understand this process.
As you can see, start planning now if you want to buy a home sometime this year. You’ll be a more informed buyer and borrower and will be ready to purchase a new home with confidence and less stress!
And, know that I can help cut through the overwhelm, especially after the crazy market we had last year. We can schedule a time to meet, and I can walk you through how you can make a new home happen for you, no matter what you think might be an obstacle in your way right now. I’ve most likely helped a client overcome the same hurdle before and I’d love to help you too.
I'm Jennifer Mestayer (Med-E-A) and I love helping Cypress families buy and sell their
homes as they move through the varying stages of life. From first homes to forever homes...
Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
Cy-Fair Real Estate
16718 House & Haul Rd, St N
Cypress, TX 77433
schedule your free consultation