GET YOUR CREDIT SCORE AS HIGH AS YOU CAN
Pay off credit cards and only use 10% of your limit moving forward. You can sell large things, but don’t make any major purchases (like a car). Don’t cancel any lines of credit and don’t open any new lines of credit. Stay current on all of your bills and remember, no major purchases!
You’ll need money for the down payment (if you need to), closing costs, and escrow for insurance and taxes
CHOOSE A REAL ESTATE AGENT
A good real estate agent will guide you through the next steps so that you don’t make any errors. If you’re reading this, it’s because you got it from your local real estate agent, me! It’s also important to have an understanding of how your real estate agent is going to market your property (i.e. email, social media, MLS, open houses, etc).
CHOOSE A LENDER
Your real estate agent should provide a list of preferred lenders. (Hey, that’s me! I can help!) The lender runs your credit and gives you mortgage options and estimated rates. The lender also calculates how much you can spend on a house based off of your debt to income ratio.
DECIDE WHAT FEATURES ARE IMPORTANT AND VISIT HOMES
Make a list of features most important to you before you start looking. Your real estate agent will book showing for houses that match your list. Visit the homes and take notes and photos.
Make sure to test the commute, consider resale value for the home, and finally make a decision!
MAKE AN OFFER
Offers are contingent on appraisals, home inspections and termite inspections (where applicable). Side note: you’re not “stuck” with a house that wasn’t built to code or has major structural damage that wasn’t present at the time of showing.
FINAL WALK-THROUGH AND CLOSE
Make sure the house is the way that it should be, as this is your final moment to speak up if something is wrong. Bring your closing money to the table, and get ready to sign paperwork!
Congrats and enjoy your new home!