You’ve been house hunting for a while. At this point, you’ve seen so many properties that the houses are blurring together. And if you had a t-shirt for every “Been there, done that.” moment you’ve encountered during walkthroughs, you would have to buy a bigger closet.
But then you find it. The home that checks all the boxes you came in with and all the ones you didn’t know you had.
Do you have what it takes to go from “I love this house!” to “I own this house?” Here are 4 tips that you can use to purchase your dream home.
Tip #1: Have an Awesome Credit Score
Everyone knows about how credit scores can affect both your chances of getting your mortgage application approved and the types of mortgage lenders who are likely to accept your application.
But did you know that your credit score can also affect the amount of money you can qualify for?
It goes back to the fact that mortgage lenders always focus on the “Can we trust this person to pay us back?” issue. And if they pull up your credit report and see that you’ve got a solid history of managing debt, they’re more likely to agree if you need a few thousand more dollars to buy that one-in-a-million home.
That’s why even before the whole “I’m ready to be a homeowner.” thought crosses your mind, you can’t go wrong paying down your credit balances, budgeting carefully, and doing what’s needed to have solid, mortgage-ready credit.
Tip #2: Get Your Mortgage Pre-Approved
Depending on where you live, the home-buying process can be like running a 100-yard dash. If you move too slowly, other buyers can and will snap up the property.
A mortgage pre-approval can save you time in several ways:
- It lets you know upfront what kind of price range you’re working with
- It makes it possible for you to get your financial ducks in a row before you start pounding the pavement
- It enables you to make offers faster without having the “Will the bank approve me for this?” situation hanging all over your home search
Purchasing a house can be difficult in the best of times. But when you’re racing against the clock for that incredible, “I never thought I’d find this!” house, the pressure is even more intense.
You never know when you’ll find your ideal home, but qualifying for your mortgage ahead of time can help put you in a better position to make a timely offer.
Tip #3: Have More Money Than You Think You’ll Need
While most people walk into the real estate market with a general price range in mind, sometimes your dream home may be slightly outside of the amount that you expect to qualify for even with an attractive credit score.
But just because the house that caught your eye comes at a slightly higher price point, that doesn’t mean that you’re down for the count. You may just need to put down a larger down payment in order to make it work.
When you’re a homeowner, you can never have too much money. So whether you pay more or you discover that your ideal home is priced exactly in your range, it never hurts to have extra cash on hand. It’s a financial win-win either way.
Tip #4: Be Prepared to Spend a Lot of Time Looking
It’s easy to be a bit picky when you’ve just started looking for a new home. But after you’ve visited the fifth or sixth house, it’s not unusual for aspiring homeowners to have thoughts of “Maybe we were too hasty.”.
According to SmallBizGenius, the average person spends 10 weeks in the real estate market and will look at an average of 10 properties before finally settling on one. You never know when the next property you see will be the one that knocks your socks off. The key is to persevere and never compromise when it comes to your house-hunting efforts until you know you’ve found “It”.
Landing Your Dream House Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
The housing market can be unpredictable. Houses can sell at higher or lower prices than you expect. Your forever home could be listed at an unusual hour. The house you’ve been searching for could suddenly be available entirely by chance.
No matter what’s happening in your local real estate market, you can come out on top simply by being prepared. When you have the flexibility that comes with having extra cash on hand or a strong credit score, your path from homebuyer to homeowner becomes a lot more straightforward.
On that note, you know what else can simplify your journey to becoming a homeowner? Having the right realtor. You want someone who understands the ins and outs of buying a home, who knows the market like the back of their hand, and who will stop at nothing until you’ve found the house that makes you stop and say “I’m home.”.
And that realtor is me.