First Time Buyer’s Checklist

As your real estate specialist, I know that it is a big step to decide to buy your first home. Now you need to be sure you go about all of the proper steps so that you are best prepared. To help guide you through the necessary protocol, here is a list to consider as you begin.

Consult a real estate agent
Don’t begin doing your research yourself and all alone. Consult a real estate agent as you begin the process of asking questions, learning about the buying process or selecting a location. I can be of assistance locally, but if you are looking in other areas allow me to connect you with an agent.

Speak with a mortgage agent
Many times real estate agents can put you in touch with a mortgage agent or two that are known as being reputable in the area in which you are searching. At first you will need to consult with a mortgage agent to get a pre-approval so that you know exactly how much you can afford in regards to a price point of a home. This will dictate what and where you will begin looking for homes. Once you submit an offer and begin a deal, you will need to follow up with the loan process and provide supporting paperwork like tax returns, income stubs and the like.

Improve your credit
A mortgage lender is going to pull a credit report for you which will alert you of your score. If your credit is not perfect, you may need to take some steps to improve it. There could be some basic things to do in which your lender may be able to advise. If your credit needs more work to repair it, there are programs that you can enroll in that assist in credit repair.

Locate a location
Once you know what you can afford from a lender, then you can figure out where you want to buy. Each area offers different price ranges and amenities. Consider what your needs are for a home and where you can afford that. Also, take into account your lifestyle. Where do you work, what do you like to do in your free time? Select an area where you are close to these and won’t be spending most of your time in the car.

Preserve your credit
Having strong and consistent credit during the home buying process is very important. During this time of home searching through the closing it is key to keep from altering your credit. This means refrain from any additional debt like a car loan or opening new credit cards. Be sure to make all of your payments in a timely fashion as well to avoid worsening your score.