Buying a new home is a major decision - but also a fun one. Whether you are ready to move on from apartment living or need a place that can accommodate your growing family, imagining your life in a house that is just right for you and your family is exciting.
However, before you start flipping through home listings, it is important to do some legwork up front. Entering into the house hunt fully prepared will help ensure you make the right decisions and avoid any pitfalls in the process.
Know your credit score - and if you have bad credit, start working on it. A good credit rating will give you a leg up when securing financing for your home. A bad credit score can make it much more difficult to get the financing you need. Before you look for a house, make sure your credit score is working in your favor.
Budget wisely. Figuring out an appropriate budget based on your complete financial situation - including income, debts and spending habits - may take a little effort. In the end, however, it will be worth it. Are you willing to part with eating out every week in exchange for a home that costs a little more? Or are regular vacations more important to you than having a slightly bigger or nicer home? Figuring out a budget that fits with your lifestyle and your financial situation will ensure you're looking at the right houses.
Prepare for the down payment. In order to get the best loan rates, you may have to put down at least 20 percent of the cost of your home up front in addition to fees and closing costs. If you don't have that on hand, or can't part with that much at once, now is the time to start saving - or to at least consider your options. If you can't make a down payment of 20 percent, you may have to work a little harder to find the loans you need to cover the cost of your home. If you do have enough, consider putting more down up front. It can lead to a larger loan.
Talk to an agent. Having your own real estate agent can help ensure your best interests are a priority throughout the home-buying process. An agent can make sure everything goes smoothly during your search.
Ted Disabato of TdD Attorneys at Law in St. Louis is not only an experienced attorney, but he is also a licensed real estate agent. His knowledge of all aspects of purchasing and selling a home allow him to effectively guide his clients through the process, ensuring their rights and best interests are protected along the way.