The Yearly Plan to Buying a Home

It is never too early to start your planning to buy your first home.  In fact, the plans should start at least a year in advance.

12 Months  In that year ahead, you really need to sit down and look over your financials.  Look at your current debt (loans, credit cards, etc.) and your current bills to see how much you can truly afford in mortgage payments.  Mortgage companies will look at these factors as well, so if you have any debt, try to get it as low as possible.  You also need to start saving money (if you haven’t already) to use as a down payment.  In these early months, you also need to start looking at the different types of loans that would be available to you.  Depending on which loan you go with, will also determine how much money you will need for that down payment.

Nine Months   The next step is to figure out where you want to live and the type of home you want.  Nine months before you plan to buy is when you should start doing your research.  Do you want a home that is close to work or in a specific school district?  Are you looking for a move-in-ready home or a fixer upper?  These are just a few of the many items you need to decide before taking the next step.

Six Months  Six months out is all about financials.  Start putting together your financial paperwork now so when you do apply for a loan, it is all in one place.  Speaking of loans, start looking into lenders.  Different lenders offer different types of loans and may have added incentives for using them (help with closing costs for example).  While you are looking for a lender, also start searching for a real estate agent that you would like to work with.  There are so many, where do I start?  The easiest is social media…yes, social media.  Ask your friends if they have any recommendations or search for real estate agents in your area on social media and read their reviews.  This is just one of many routes to find your agent.

Three Months  Three months ahead of your purchase, your should have your pre-approved loan paperwork.  This is a huge advantage when you make an offer on a home.  It shows the seller that, according to the lender, you are pre-qualified to obtain a certain loan amount. By now you should already be looking at homes with your agent and narrowing down the one that is perfect for you.

Two Months  You found your home! This is the time to submit your offer through your real estate agent.  It can take a month or two to close on your home, so you want to immediately get your Due Diligence started.  Schedule that inspection!  You do not want to push back your closing date because you didn’t have enough time to fix any issues found in the inspection.

One Month  You are so close to having the keys to your dream home.  Before you can finish the deal, make sure you have everything in order such as your mortgage, appraisal, and money for your closing costs.  Make sure to do a final walkthrough of the house before closing.  All that is left is the closing, so make sure you have your bank check or money wire ready for your closing costs.

Enjoy your new home!

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