Being ready and getting ready are two different things, especially when you are thinking of buying a home. If you are a first time home buyer getting ready may be easier than being ready. But being and getting ready both take a level of understanding, determination and readiness that you must prepare for.
Now, let us explain what that means.
Make Your Job, Your Job
What you do for a living only matters if you do something different every other month. Stable work history will matters to lenders when you are applying for a mortgage. So if you are planning on buying a home, keep that job until you close.
Get Your Credit in Order
Unless you are buying a home in case, you will need to get a mortgage. Your credit and ability to qualify for a mortgage go hand in hand. Find out your credit score before you talk to a lender. In fact, you can get a lender to pull your credit even before you apply for a loan.
You're entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Order online from annualcreditreport.com, the only authorized website for free credit reports, or call 1-877-322-8228.
Take a homebuyers class
You will be surprised at how much this helps. It gets you prepared for the process and answers questions you may not have known you had. Even as real estate professionals we learn something new each class we hold. Notice how I mentioned that we hold classes. (yes this was a shameless plug)
Start Saving Money
Begin putting a bit of money aside, you will need to pay for a home inspection, down payment and depending on your lender an appraisal even before you get the keys to your new home. You will also need some reserve money in savings to satisfy your lenders requirements. This money can be used for your closing cost.
Work with a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Once you have that approval, you will know how much house you can afford.
Being In the Know
When you start the home search, you will go from knowing what type of home you want, to wanting every home on the market. You have to know what kind of home you want, what amenities you would like and how much you are willing to spend...not much you get approved for.
Buying a home will take time. You will have to find the time to view homes in person and gather the things you need for the lender. It will be your responsibility to be available at any time. This is an intense but short lived process (if you're lucky)
The home buying process is about a lot more than just what you want. It goes by your income, homes that are available that meet your criteria and a home seller. When you factor in lenders, home inspectors and real estate agents things get a bit tricky.
Everyone has a role to play to get you into your new home. This includes you. Just because you get your offered approved doesn't mean you will end up with the house. You have to follow through, don't create more debt, give your lender everything they ask for and tell your realtor everything.
The home buying process in as adventure there will be some up's, some downs and a few tense moments. But when you prepare for the journey, you will make it to the closing table.