Here are seven steps to follow as you get ready to buy a home in the new year:

  1. Check your credit. Knowing your baseline score before your purchase is a must.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

“Having a pre-approval letter will allow you to write a timely offer, be on par with other buyers, and even potentially stand out.”

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.