Purchasing a home can be some of the most exciting moments of your adulthood but it can also be extremely stressful. Although, there are a few details that might look different right now, the overall process of buying a home remains the same and figuring out the key steps can help you reach your goal and a dream a reality with just a few things. Regardless of when you actually plan to execute to buy a home, there are a few tips you need to look out for. On average, looking for the perfect home can take roughly a few months. You need about 2-4 months to find the right house and then add another month to close. The process can also take a while as well such as looking at your credit and financing options, finding a real estate agent and making offers to negotiate the right price.
Buying a home can be stressful during the best of times, and it might feel positively overwhelming during a pandemic. Although a few of the details may look different right now, the overall process of buying remains the same — and understanding the key steps can help you reach your goal and make your dream a reality.
1. Credit Score: One of the biggest tips to helping you house hunt is knowing what you can actually afford. Your credit score has a lot to do with this. A credit report is pulled from data from three major credit reporting agencies including Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. In this report, it shares both your FICO score and your Vantage score. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you’ll receive. Generally speaking, a credit score of 720 or higher will get you a good interest rate on a conventional loan, but qualification criteria depends on the specific lender. For FHA loans, you can usually get approved with a credit score of 580 or higher. If you are unhappy with your score there are a few ways to impact your score including the type of credit, length of your credit history, total debit and payment history.
2. What Can You Afford: Once you are pre approved a lender will tell you the max amount you are able to borrow. Once you have a budget in mind, make a list of some of your must have home features. Your price point will dictate the size , location and amenities of your future home. Below are a few ideas to keep in mind such as the type of home, preferred location, square footage, number of bathrooms and bedrooms and school district.
3. Location: Next to finding out what you can afford, location is the biggest thing first time homeowners look for. If you can’t find or afford a home in your ideal neighborhood you’ll want to look at one that fits your budget, your needs and your lifestyle. Remember, your home’s location cannot be changed so take time to really look at them and where you’ll be the happiest living for a few years.
4. DIY Projects: While you look at the homes, don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t have everything on your wishlist. Some homes offer great bones/structure and you are able to work on a few of these DIY projects yourself. If you are handy with saws and tools, think of ways you can use these tools to help bring a welcome feel to your new home. Add flower boxes in the front, an easy s’mores box for the outdoor BBQ patio or build a shed if you’re really handy. Saw Trax offers a variety of tools in the Georgia area to help you with these projects. Not only do they offer saws but also scoop dollies to move such heavy materials with ease.
5. Keep In Mind Needs Vs Wants: There’s a big difference between wants and needs, so create two different lists when searching for a home. For instance, a shorter commute may be a must-have, but smart home features are a nice-to-have. Practicality and functionality should always take priority over the bells and whistles!
As you begin your house hunting tours, keep these tips in mind, do your best to find one that fits the must wish list and also see what you can afford but don’t feel as if you need to purchase a home at the top of your budget. Again, you can always work on cosmetic items and go slow when making this house a home.
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