What do you see when you picture your dream home? Is it a 100-year old farmhouse in the country, a converted warehouse with views of a bustling city, a townhouse close to shops and public transportation, or maybe a house with an open floorplan and a big yard on a quiet suburban cul-de-sac?
No matter what it is, it’s a place you want to be.
Now, close your eyes and picture your perfect mortgage. What’s your interest rate? Is it a fixed rate or adjustable rate? How much of a down payment are you able or willing to make?
Ok, we admit, this isn’t as exciting, or daydream worthy, but if you want that dream home, these are things you’ll want to think about before you get too caught up in curb appeal or picking out curtains.
We have a lot of information to help you through the process of getting a mortgage. In this blog series, we’ll help you think about factors you’ll likely want to consider when you are starting out.
The process of buying a home can seem overwhelming, so one of the first things to consider is how to get started. What will you do first on your path to your home, sweet home?
I’ll start by checking my credit
Checking your credit is a great place to start your homebuying journey (that’s why it’s the very first step in “Owning a Home”). We know that going home shopping is the exciting part, but checking your credit first will help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.
Your credit report and scores are an important part of what lenders use to help determine whether you qualify for a loan and what interest rate you may be offered. If there are errors on your credit report, those errors could cost you a lot of money in interest or even prevent you from getting a loan at all. By checking your credit early, you’ll have time to get any errors resolved before you find your dream home. And, knowing your credit score, along with your expected down payment amount will help you get a realistic sense of what interest rate you might be offered, which is one key ingredient to figuring out the home price range you can comfortably afford. Your home is a purchase you’ll pay every month for many years, so you want to be careful to balance what you want with what you can afford.
You are starting off strong. Sign up for our “Owning a Home” email list below to get an alert when we’ve published the next in our series. Remember, “Owning a Home” is a comprehensive and free resource that will guide you all the way to the closing table.
I’ll start by looking for a home
You are ready to see what’s out there and find the home of your dreams. You may want to work with a real estate agent or housing counselor, who is able to help you through the process. While you are working with your real estate agent or housing counselor, you’ll want to check your credit early on for two reasons.
- Checking your credit early will help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road. If there are errors on your credit report, those errors could cost you a lot of money in interest or even prevent you from getting a loan at all. By checking your credit early, you’ll have time to get any errors resolved before you find your dream home.
- Your credit score is a key factor that affects the interest rate lenders may offer you, which in turn is a key component to figuring out the home price range you can comfortably afford. Checking your credit early helps you balance what you want with what you can afford.
Now that you know the first step in your mortgage journey, sign up for our “Owning a Home” email list below to get an alert when we’ve published the next in our series.
For a more in-depth look into the steps and decisions that go into buying and financing a home, visit “Owning a Home.” Here, you can learn what to expect when buying a home, and what questions to ask in order to find the best mortgage for you.
This article by Erica Kritt was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.