It's a great feeling to decide to buy a home, it is after all, for some, still part of the "American Dream". The benefits are numerous, such as tax advantages, fixed payments, building wealth by way of equity, and stability of life environment, to name a few. The process of buying a home can be scary, frustrating ad expensive, but with a little preparation you can help ensure that the road to home ownership is apart of your dream and not a nightmare. The road to your dream home should be half of the fun, (although you can expect a few ups and downs),think property searches, and design meetings, and of course, the occasional open house. Here are a few things, to keep in mind, as you work towards the keys to your dream home.
Know your credit score
Most lenders, require a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a loan, though some can offer programs that will work with lower scores.
Get friendly with your your credit report.
Your credit report, gives detailed information about your buying activity and spending habits, that help make up your credit score. As mentioned above, in general, most lenders require a a minimum credit score to qualify for a loan, usually a 620 or higher, although there are some loan programs that can work with lower scores,(keep in mind the higher the score the lower the rate, usually), knowing what is in your report makes for a more informative conversation with your lender. It's okay to have questions.
Bank statements and W2's.
Consider these your financial "paper trail", your lender will require 2 years of proof of income. Bank statements and W2's from your employer are the easiest ways to prove this.
No Money Down, does not mean, no cash upfront. Cash on hand is necessary. Whether in a savings account, (which I recommend) or a credit card that is used and paid off before closing(keep that debt to income ratio in mind). Most buyers don't realize that certain expenses, that entail getting the home to closing are their responsibility, such items as the home's inspection, and the appraisal are the charged to the buyer and most often, not taken out at closing.
I hope these few details help to de-mystify the buying process, just a bit. If you have further questions on how to be home owner ready, or are seeking a Realtor to help take take you from Renter to Owner, I am always humbled to assist.
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