Is 2021 the year that you become a homeowner instead of a renter? If so, starting with these simple steps will place you on the path to home ownership:
- Budget – I know – no one’s favorite topic, but it’s so important to know where you are spending your money each month. Small changes now can make big impacts in the long run. Budgeting will let you know how much your payment needs to be and will keep you from buying a home outside of your comfort zone. No one wants a monthly mortgage payment that leaves you constantly strapped for cash. Keep in mind, you should also budget for regular maintenance and unexpected repairs that are bound to happen. No repairs? What about using that budgeted money for a home improvement project down the road? How fun to design a new space, change your paint color, new landscaping, etc.
- Credit –know your score and know what negatively and positively affects it. It’s important to understand your credit report and what a lender is focusing on when he looks at your score. You are entitled to your free credit report from annualcreditreport.com once a year…however, due to COVID, you can check your report weekly for free through April 2021. Here’s a great place to start understanding your credit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/understanding-your-credit This link also offers some guidelines on correcting any errors that might be on your report. It will take some time to have any errors corrected, so be sure to start working on it right away.
- Lender – finding a lender early in the process is key! A lender will be able to look at your overall financial picture, educate you about different types of loans and give you an idea of how much you’ll need for that down payment. Always ask about any down payment assistance programs out there that you might be eligible for. A lender will also review your credit report and let you know specific things you need to work on so that you can best qualify to purchase that home of your dreams.
Buying a home may feel a little overwhelming when you first begin the process and that’s totally understandable. Just breathe and take it 1 step at a time. All your efforts will be worth it as you will enjoy the benefits of being a homeowner for many years to come. If you have questions and want to talk through the process, please call me at 404-862-8244