Here are seven steps to follow as you get ready to buy a home in the new year:
- Check your credit. Knowing your baseline score before your purchase is a must.
- Don’t open new lines of credit. Resist temptation if/when credit card offers come in the mail. This is the time to devote all of your attention to home buying and not add to your credit card burden.
- Suggest financial gifts. If, during the holidays, a loved one asks for some ideas for what you’d like, suggest cash or gift cards. That extra cash can go a long way when put toward your down payment.
- Keep tabs on interest rates. We’ve seen some fluctuation with respect to interest rates, and in general, they are escalating—knowing where rates are sitting at all times is important.
- Find a mortgage lender. You’ll want to find a lender who can get you pre-qualified and that you trust and are comfortable with.
- Get pre-approved. Plan for the unexpected: The right house might suddenly come onto the market, and you’ll need to be ready. Having a pre-approval letter will allow you to write a timely offer, be on par with other buyers, and even potentially stand out.
- Find a great real estate agent. I believe this to be the most important step—buying a home is much too big of a decision to carry out on your own. You’ll want to work with a professional agent who has your best interests at heart.
If you have any real estate-related questions or you need help buying or selling a home, please reach out to me by phone at 503-522-0090 or email me at Sarita@AskSarita.com.