Are you thinking of purchasing a new home in 2017? Have you been looking online at houses for sale? Are you picking out the style and price range you'd like? If yes, this is a perfect point to get prepared to accomplish your dream as soon as possible. It is time to jump into the "real" process of preparing to buy a house.
There are four major things to think about before you are truly out there house hunting.
Credit scores are one of the major components that determine what type of loan you can utilize, how much you will need as a down payment, and what you can afford on a monthly basis. Obviously, the higher your credit score the better. If you haven't already pulled a credit report, you should do that immediately. You can request credit scores directly from the three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) although there may be a charge to do so. You are also entitled to a once-a-year free report from Annual Credit Report website. Another option is to contact your bank or mortgage broker and request that they pull your credit information.
You are going to need not only the score but also all the details behind it. This will help you to understand what might be needed to improve your numbers. Perhaps there are items on your report which are there in error. There may be a bill you paid that is showing up as not paid. Whatever the case, it may take some time to improve your scores, so getting a jump on this activity is important!
A linked activity is to get your mortgage pre-approval process underway. Most real estate professionals will require a pre-approval in hand prior to viewing houses. There are several reasons for this. First, if you find a house you want on your first outing, you need to be ready to put in an offer, and offers must be submitted with that pre-approval. Also, you don't want to waste time looking at homes you really cannot purchase. Falling in love with a home that is just impossible to own could be quite upsetting. Finally, selecting the right mortgage broker is a process as well. You want to make sure you are working with someone who will be proactive, responsive, and knows their stuff!
Meeting with a mortgage professional now, before you are ready to house shop is also important because there may be things you need to do so the process moves smoothly. For example, if you are relying on a gift from a relative to help with the downpayment, there may be rules about how long it needs to be in the account or what kind of proof you will need of the source of the money. You will want to know all the details as far in advance as possible so you are fully prepared.
Now is also the time to put away any money you can so you'll be ready to go. Especially in New York, the home buying process can be costly. In addition to any mortgage required down payments, there are mortgage fees, title fees, property tax escrows, and more. A buyer should also do a home inspection prior to purchasing, and that adds more cost. And having some money in savings AFTER closing is important for all the things you want to improve, or the new furniture you wish to purchase. So save money BEFORE you are involved in the nitty gritty of home purchasing.
Select your Real Estate Professional
A buyer agent does not cost you money, but it ensures there is a professional on your side throughout the entire home purchase transaction. Not just to help you find the right house, but to get you through the contract, mortgage, inspection, appraisal, and other steps in the process. That agent needs to be by your side all the way until closing. And buyer agents are not all the same. You should select a few possible agents, conduct your interviews, and decide who you would like to work with. That person can start sending you possible listings so you can get a great handle on the specifics of where and what you want to buy.
Those are my tips for getting prepared for a 2017 home purchase. And of course, if you are planning to purchase in the Monroe NY or Orange County NY area, I'd be happy to assist you in any way. You can call me at 914-419-0270 or email me at email@example.com.
Originally published at thehousekat.com.