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5 Smart Steps to Buying a Home

If you’re looking to purchase a home, it’s important to take certain steps ahead of time, so when you find the perfect home, you’re ready to make an offer. Here are five steps to buying a home to keep in mind:

1. Get your credit in order. Having good credit is essential to getting approved for a mortgage and helping you secure the best interest rate. That’s why it’s important to understand, review, and manage your credit even before you apply for a mortgage. You should start by obtaining your credit report.  You’re entitle to a free credit report once a year from any domestic consumer reporting agency, including from each of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Because your credit plays an important role in the mortgage process, you’ll want to pay any overdue balances, dispute any errors, and even wait to apply for a mortgage until you improve your credit. 

2. Determine how much home you can afford. Before you start shopping for a home, you’ll need to figure out how much you can afford. You can easily determine this by using mortgage calculators available online. You’ll be asked to provide some information, including your income, total debt, and the amount of your down payment.

3. Shop online. The pandemic has impacted the way people shop for homes. To ensure your safety and make home shopping convenient, take advantage of online real estate sites. Many offer virtual tours that let you take a closer look at homes before you make appointments to see them.

4. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. As more people have opted to stay at home, the inventory of homes for sale is low. That makes the market extraordinarily competitive. One way to gain a competitive advantage is to get pre-approved. A pre-approval is a conditional approval from a lender based on your credit. It can give you a valuable negotiating edge, informing sellers that you are a serious buyer.

5. Be realistic. Before you begin shopping for your home, set a budget. While it may be tempting to spend more than your budget, you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you are “house poor” and can’t afford to do the activities you love to do. Though you may have a long list of features you want in a home, you may have to prioritize them to stay within your budget.

Taking these steps before you shop for a home will help you save time and make the “perfect” home yours.

A smiling man and woman hold a home key with their thumb and index finger in the shape of a heart

Getting ready to put your home on the market? Preparing to show a home is an important step in impressing buyers and closing a sale! Chelsea Groton is hosting a virtual Home Staging to Sell class. Join us as Amanda Cummings, home stager and interior designer, talks about curb appeal, decluttering, the value of a fresh coat of paint, and classic staging items. She’ll share the secrets to making your home look bigger, brighter and ready to showcase all the positive features to prospective buyers! This virtual class will be held on Thursday, June 3rd from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. To register, click here:

* All lending is subject to underwriting and credit approval