Being informed is important when you are making big financial decisions, and there are few financial decisions bigger than buying a home. Take the time to educate yourself about what you are getting into before you commit to buying any property. The following tips are here to help you get started. These things to do before the purchase of a house will put you in a position for not only a smooth transaction but a pleasant first time home ownership experience.

1. Know your credit score

Your credit score is one of the biggest factors in what your loan terms will be. Know your score a loan officer can be a great resource here. A good score can leads to a low-interest rate which could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Ask me about free credit repair help.

2. Have a lender pre-approve you before shopping

What to do before buying a house includes getting pre-approved. In fact, it is one of the most important parts of the home buying process! Pre-approval means you should be able to get the loan as long as nothing changes about with your financial situation or your credit score.

A pre-approval letter also helps when you want to compete with another buyer for a home you love. One of the first things most sellers are going to ask their agent when receiving an offer is how qualified the buyer is to purchase. Sellers want to feel comfortable knowing the buyer is not going to get turned down for the loan. A home buyer should understand there is a difference between a mortgage pre-approval and a pre-qualification. To get pre-approved lenders will verify employment, income, and credit. Often this is not the case with a pre-qualification.

3. Local lender

Realtors will advise there clients to choose the strongest offer. I know when I see a local lender that has a reputation for closing on time and without issues, vs a online unknown loan officer. I would go with the local guy every time. I like being able visit the loan officer at his office when needed. having them show up to the closing. I have seen small glitches stop a closing, with the loan officer at closing it is usually a phone call away from being fixed.

4. Get a inspection

This is a big deal, 1st time buyer or the last home you buy. The inspector works for you alone, they will go through the home top to bottom, under and on top of the home, test every fixture and switch. Looking for anything that is broken or on it’s last legs. Inspectors do not have super powers like X-ray vision, but they employ some cool gadgets to find many issues.

5.  Know what you want

We can work on this together. When you see an area you like take a drive through, if you download the app and keep it on the map setting you can see any home for sale in the area. Understand you are not just buying a home but a location as well. One of the key considerations that many buyers miss when purchasing a home is knowing how to pick a neighborhood they will love. Often first time buyers focus too much on the house and not enough on the neighborhood. *Tip, use google maps satellite to see the area before making the drive.

6. Work with a skilled Realtor that knows your area

Hello! This is where I can help. Started real estate in 2007, I have closed 100’s deals. Our community is smaller than you think. I have worked hard to build relationships with my fellow Realtors. When negotiating you want your agent to have a reputation for being honest and hard working. Every neighborhood has its unique qualities that you want to be aware of before you buy. An agent that is well-informed about the area will also know what homes there are worth, which will help you avoid overpaying for a property.

7. Understand the actual value of any property you are buying

Working with a real estate agent that understands market values in your area is critical if you want to avoid overpaying for your house. We will look at a range of homes that have sold in the area to give us a offering price.

8. Don’t do anything to affect your financial situation

Your pre-approval is based on the information given at the time of your application. Any changes, like getting a different job or taking out a car loan, can result in denial of the loan request when you go to purchase a house. ***Also paying off a loan can drop your score, it sounds crazy but it is true.

While I like to educate all of my buyers on not making large purchases while buying a home there are many who do not listen. Making a large purchase is not a prudent thing to do when buying a home. This is one of the primary reasons buyers can be denied a mortgage after being pre-approved. This is not a pleasant experience!

Okay, now with that out of the way let’s have some fun and find you the dream home you have always wanted.

Let’s get you started on the road to home ownership.