Be ready to buy a home - What do I need to buy a home?
As the economic world slowly emerges from the banking crisis, as a buyer what's important to focus on? Potential buyers include may have short sold or lost their homes to foreclosure who are now eligible to become homeowners again. What about those those young buyers coming into the market? Can they also be ready to buy a home? Prices have been increasing steadily in southern California since February 2013. Interest rates are still in the 4% range. I used trulia.com/rentvsbuy tool to compare for myself. I used the following criteria: (1) a rental payment of $1900 per month, (2) a target price of $500,000, (3) intent to occupy the home for 10 years, (4) my 28% tax bracket and (5) a mortgage interest rate of 4.5%. Trulia calculated my buying would be 14% cheaper than renting.
If you're a first time buyer or a buyer recovering from the mortgage crisis, here is what you need to do NOW to get ready to enter the world of homeownership. If you're more than 8 months out, order a free credit report and find out what it says about you. It's not unusual to find errors. Pay your bills on time, reduce debt on credit cards to 50% of the available balance, and DO NOT close accounts or open new accounts. A credit score of 620 or better is preferred by lenders. If you're less than six months start working on your budget, forecast future cost, property tax rates vary and consider maintenance cost.
Now that you're four to three months out from buying and your credit is clean, you've got an idea of your desired price point and you've found a desirable neighborhood. Pick your team to represent you. Find a lending partner that has the ability to have you go through the underwriting upfront. You do not want any surprises once you cut an earnest money deposit check. Confirm they have competitive pricing and can close on time. The Realtor needs to be knowledgeable of the neighborhood you'd like to live in. The entry level home market is very competitive, a savvy and experienced agent and your pre-approved loan makes all the difference when having an offer accepted or passed over. It's a great time to buy or start to prepare to buy a home.