I always recommend that buyers get prequalified.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
It means that the buyers have spoken with a lender and found out how much they can afford. The lender looks at their assets (income, savings and investments) and liabilities (expenses and debts) and then calculates how much the buyer can afford in a monthly house payment. This will dictate how much the buyer can spend for a home.
Factors to consider include your FICA score (credit rating); your current housing situation; and your home purchase criteria.
You are able to check once a year with the three major credit scoring companies, free of charge. This enables you to make sure there are no anomalies in your use of credit and to see what score you have. The higher the rating, the better! It’s also best not to open new credit cards or have your credit rating checked often by others. For some reason, this tends to lower your score.
YOUR CURRENT HOUSING SITUATION
Are you renting? Do you have a mortgage? Can you buy a new home and keep your current one? Or do you need to rent your current home first – or sell it – before you can buy a replacement? Your lender can help you determine how to proceed in getting pre-qualified and later qualified for your loan.
YOUR NEW HOME CRITERIA
It is always a good idea to write down what you are looking for in a home. Where do you want to be? How big a home do you need/ want? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? What other rooms do you need? What amenities are you looking for? What’s important? New or old property? Move in ready or fixer-upper? Prices vary from area to area, so it’s always good to speak with an expert. I can be of help in this, so give me a call! I can search homes for you in your price range with much of your criteria.
Knowing how much you can afford is critical in finding the right home.