4 Must-Do Things Before You Start The Process
1️⃣. Check your credit score & work on improving it — even just a little bit.
We all know that, in general, it’s a good idea to know where you stand with your credit. Knowing your score upfront is important for two main reasons:
- When you’re looking to buy a house because it will ultimately decide whether you’ll be able to secure a mortgage loan.
- It will also determine what your interest rate will be which could save you or cost you big bucks in the long run.
Most loan officers will tell you that a credit score of 740 and above will generally get you the best interest rate available. If your score is below 640, you may need to work on improving your credit to qualify or to receive the best rate.
So how can you do that?
Download a credit monitoring app like CreditKarma for free, and get in touch with one of our preferred lenders. They can chat with you about the specifics of YOUR credit and give you some specific advice on what to do to improve your standing.
Generally, working on paying down your debts and credit card balances, and setting up auto payments so that nothing falls through the cracks helps.
2️⃣. Avoid making large purchases or opening up new credit cards
The excitement of filling your new home with furniture and new appliances is totally alluring, trust us, we get it! Hold off on buying any large purchases until after you’ve closed on your home, though. Buying large items before you close can affect your debt-to-income ratio, and in turn, affect your mortgage loan.
Making big purchases in the weeks or months before buying a home can hurt you in several ways:
First, it decreases your savings and cash reserves (both of which are hugely important in the home buying process).
Second, it could also hurt your credit score, particularly if you use a new card or max out another one to pay for it.
Finally, making a big purchase also makes you look less financially responsible to a mortgage lender.
3️⃣. Start squirreling away.
When you’re ready to buy a home, the down payment is just one of the many things you will need to pay for. Inspections, closing costs (which are generally around 2-3% of the home’s purchase price) as well as moving costs and that new furniture we mentioned above all make the list.
Set yourself up for success and start stashing away all your spare change and extra cash into your savings account until you’re ready to buy your home. Fun fact, naming your savings account “Future Home Savings” or something similar will actually help you save more! Start funneling your spare change and extra cash into a savings account until you’re ready to buy. Every little bit counts!
4️⃣. Contact your local real estate agent.
Oh, hi! This is where we come in!
Why do you actually need an agent? There are too many to name in all honesty, but the main ones are:
- It is literally our job to know the Atlanta Market – where the next developments are, what neighborhoods are hot and which ones are in transition
- We have bullish negotiating skills. We will help you pay a fair and accurate price for your new home.
- We are connected to everyone
- We have access to homes before anyone else and can set you up with a personalized search
- We are state licensed and adhere to a strict code of ethics
- We’re your data analyst/therapist/partner/marketer—all rolled into one. We don’t have “normal business hours” and are always working for you!
If you’re ready to start the process, download our free Buyer’s Guide here and get in touch with us so we can learn how to support your goal of becoming a homeowner this year.