Buying a House? Do These Five Things First

Are you considering buying a house? This is one of the biggest decisions of your life, with a ton of questions to be answered, and even more loose ends to secure. What you will want to do first is to make a checklist to start the right way. Here are five tips to make sure you do before taking the plunge.

  1. Checklist – Everyone can benefit from a check list. No matter how small, no matter how large, checklists help even the most organized people get everything in line. When buying a house, this is no different.
  2. Do your homework – IF you want to walk in late and without studying, you’ll be the one who is setting up to fail. No matter what you’re going to buy, know what you’re looking at. Whether it’s a small one-story ranch, or a multilevel mansion; know the features of each so you are prepared to ask the owner or agent about the property. Without knowing what you’re looking at, it’s difficult to know if you truly like it or not.
  3. Look at your credit score – Nothing scares away mortgage lenders like a bad credit score. Take a look at it to see if you have any bad marks, and fix them if you can. The typical score of 580 is what most bankers like to see, and will give you a decent interest rate. As always, the higher your score, the lower your interest rate will be.
  4. Get a pre-approval for your mortgage – This is to safeguard you when you walk in any house that catches your eye. You probably cannot afford it without the mortgage anyway. Eliminate the worry of house shopping by knowing you CAN get this house.
  5. Don’t forget loan fees – Closing costs are almost unavoidable, and often forgettable. Allocate anywhere from 10% - 20% for closing costs, and if you can get the seller to cover them then that’s a home run.

Those are the five major things you should do before buying a house, but there are a couple little side things you can do that won’t hurt as well. One would be to meet the neighbors. They can be quite helpful in the process by holding all sorts of information.

Consider what type of security you should get for your house. You will want to do this since you are the new kid on the block. Only you can lose without it.

Keep your checklist near and don’t forget about it. Once you see all those crossed out marks, you’ll know you are getting somewhere, and will begin to feel good. SO get out there and get that house you want!

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