Deciding to purchase a home is both exciting and nerve-racking; it is a huge decision! But those nerves can be eased with the right planning and the understanding of what to expect during the homebuying journey. Explore these tips to help you plan for homeownership.
1. Evaluate How Much You Can Afford
While homeownership comes with great benefits, it also comes with great responsibility. When buying a home, you will be responsible for paying your utilities, maintenance and repair costs – plus, your monthly mortgage payment, property taxes and insurance. Speaking from personal experience, these things add up fast. Create a budget to determine how much you can afford when it comes to monthly mortgage payments. A budget helps you break-out monthly income and expenses, helping you allocate funds for a home.
Helpful Tip: Just because you get prequalified for a certain loan amount, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should select a home at this price point. When getting prequalified the bank determines the loan amount by a few basic metrics you provide. However, you know your financial situation best, and should use this knowledge to select a home that you can comfortably afford.
2. Understand the Importance of Your Credit Score and History
Lenders put a high priority on checking your credit score and history, as it shows them the likelihood of you paying your mortgage. Make sure your credit score is in good condition and that your credit history is accurate. If necessary, take the proper steps to improve your credit score before homebuying.
3. Find a Good Realtor
A realtor can make or break your homebuying experience. It is vital to find a realtor that you trust and enjoy being around. A good way to find a realtor is through recommendations from family, friends and colleagues. Don’t choose your realtor on a whim, but consider several realtors in order to compare their rates. Next, make sure your realtor understands your list of needs and wants. A good realtor will make sure all these factors are considered and find the best home to meet your needs.
Posted by Bethani Williams
Bethani works with Ameris Bank Mortgage Services as a marketing specialist. As a previous homeowner, she shares personal stories, providing tips and tricks she has learned along the way.
The information voiced in this material is for general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.