How to Prepare to Buy Your First Home

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 11/8/2014 12:00:00 PM

If you are looking to purchase your first home, it's not as easy as finding a home for sale, writing a check and moving in. There are many things you should do to prepare yourself and your finances so that you can purchase the home of your dreams when the time is right.

Buying a home can be intimidating for anyone, even veteran home buyers who've been around the home-buying block a couple of times. If you are looking to purchase your first home, it's not as easy as finding a home for sale, writing a check and moving in. There are many things you should do to prepare yourself and your finances so that you can purchase the home of your dreams when the time is right.

 

Pay Off Small Debts

Your credit score plays a huge factor in the amount of mortgage you will be approved for, the interest rate you will pay, and what your monthly payments will be. It's especially important to tackle any old or past due debts and get them cleared off of your credit report. This will increase your credit score and decrease both your interest rate and payment amount.

Check Your Credit Score

Once you get things cleaned up on your credit report, it's time to check your credit score. Your lender will let you know what your target credit score should be. Credit scores fall in a range between 300 at the low end, and 850 at the high end. Typically, a credit score of at least 700 is what you should shoot for. The higher your credit score is, the better. A higher credit score will secure you a lower interest rate and lower payments.

 

Get a Pre-Approval

You should also apply for a pre-approval for a mortgage loan. This will help you determine how much you have to spend on your first home. The pre-approval allows you to narrow down your choices and shop within your budget. You will know what your expected payments will be once you find a home in your price range. The pre-approval process also helps you avoid getting your heart set on a particular home only to discover that it is out of your budget. Your bank or credit union's loan officer can help you obtain a pre-approval so you can start shopping for homes in your price range.

 

Find a Good Agent

There are many things you must do to become a homeowner, beyond shopping and writing the check. There are mountains of paperwork, inspections, closings and many other things that must be done to get you into the home you want. You will likely have a lot of questions if you are new to the process of purchasing a home. It is important to have a good real estate agent on your side to walk you through the process, help you find the right home and answer all of your questions. Your agent will usually split the selling agent's commission, so you won't have to pay out of your pocket for their services. Your agent will relieve a lot of your stress and help you ensure that you do things the right way so you can enjoy your new home. Community First Credit Union works alongside many experienced agents and will be able to refer you to an agent that will fit your needs. In addition, Community First Credit Union will be able to help you with your financial obligations when it comes to your new home.  Call or contact Community First atwww.communityfirstfl.org today for more information.