Purchasing your first home will be an exciting experience, but this process is more complicated than most people realize. Luckily, with a little bit of patience and some hard work, you should be able to find the house of your dreams at an excellent price.
Work on Your Credit Score
Your credit score is going to have a major impact on this process, and boosting it by just a few points could end up saving you thousands over the years. You also need to make sure that your income remains relatively steady. Switching to a job that pays a little more money might help you build your savings, but the loan officer could view that as financial instability. All major blemishes must be removed from your credit report as well.
Start the Process Early
Even if you have no major issues on your credit report, buying a home could easily take multiple years. You might need to start building up your down payment and working on your credit score years in advance. Also, shopping for a loan early on will help you keep your budget in mind through the rest of the process.
Finding the perfect home is also going to take quite a bit of time, and you never want to rush an offer. Once your credit score is in a decent place and you have a solid down payment, escrow could take anywhere from 30 to 45 days.
Work with a Real Estate Agent
Looking through hundreds of homes for sale can be exhausting, and that is why many people hire experienced and reputable real estate agents. A local realtor is going to have access to a wide variety of resources that will help them find homes that meet all of your criteria. They will probably have pocket listings that can’t be found anywhere else as well. Those listings are usually filled with motivated sellers who want to get rid of their houses as quickly as possible.
Keep Your Emotions Out of It
When you are coming up with a list of must-haves, you need to be as practical as possible. Luxurious upgrades like swimming pools and huge garages might be appealing, but those add-ons aren’t usually requirements. You should focus on must-haves such as the overall size of the home and its total number of bedrooms. Luxuries can be added later, when you can afford it better.
It is important to remember that purchasing a home can take quite some time, but you don’t want to rush this process. Minor mistakes early on in the process can quickly turn into expensive disasters if you aren’t careful, and first-time buyers must do everything in their power to avoid those problems.