It’s January and the New Year is now in full swing. For those who plan to purchase a home this year, it’s time to educate yourself, start planning, and get moving! There are certain “healthy habits” you need to implement before purchasing your dream home.
Habit No. 1: Accumulate your down payment or seek a down payment assistance program
It is very important when trying to buy a home that you are prepared. Unfortunately, buying a home is not free but there are many ways to make it feasible. Saving for a down payment or finding a company that assists with down payments is one of the first steps to purchasing a home. First determine the type of mortgage that you believe you will qualify for. (FHA/Conventional ect) In many cases, FHA requirements for a down payment are 3-5%, whereas, a conventional loan requires at least 20%. The best way to accumulate is to automate your checking account to set aside a specific amount of your paycheck into your separate savings account opened for the purpose. Jason Walowitz of United Financial Counselors states “It is important for motivated borrowers to make an effort regarding their down payment. Determination and discipline are vital when trying to save for your home.”
Should you not be able to come up with all of the funds, companies such as United Financial Counselors also offers down payment assistance to homeowners that qualify. (Should you want more information, see our recent blog that is dedicated to assistance programs.)
Habit No. 2: Keep your credit history healthy
Mortgage approval requires lenders to check your credit history and credit report. Credit history is a record of your current accounts, records of payments, and also records your past dues payments. It is important to also know your credit score which you will find on your credit report. In order to purchase a home, you must have good credit. As a rule of thumb, the better your credit, the better the interest rate that you can obtain.
Habit No. 3: Live on a budget
Downsizing your budget means you will be able to save more for your down payments, monthly mortgage payments, or new purchases that you want to furnish your new home. Budgeting is important not only when purchasing a home but also in day to day life.
Habit No. 4: Roll up your sleeves
One of the main benefits of renting home is that repairing broken toilets, leaky faucets, or roof damage is your landlord’s responsibility. Once you own your own home, that all changes. It is important that you know how to deal with these problems .
Consumers thinking about buying a home should become skilled at the basics of property maintenance and general ‘handy habits’ since home preservation is an ongoing effort for homeowners. Knowing how to fix basic home issues will save thousands of dollars in the future. Educating yourself about how to fix these issues before you’re scrambling around a dark, flooded kitchen is always ideal.
Habit No. 5: Survey the real estate market
It is important to spend time learning about a housing market before you’re ready to make a purchase.
Jason Walowitz of United Financial Counselors states that “It is always a good idea to get an idea of the district where you want to purchase. It’s a good habit to perhaps look online and also tour the area to get a sense of what is accessible in your price range and the neighborhoods and amenities you’ll realistically be able to afford. This can help avoid dissatisfaction and disappointment when it comes time to really look.”
If you have any questions related to your home purchase, please contact at United Financial Counselors. We cover a broad range of services such as first time homebuyer counseling, credit counseling, budget counseling, foreclosure prevention counseling, and pre & post-bankruptcy counseling. If you are interested in any of our services, please click ‘Contact Us Now’ form and fill the required fields for a counselor to contact you.