A new year brings resolutions and new goals. For some people that means cutting and pasting pictures onto a dream board while sipping a glass of wine. While others will carefully formulate a list with color coded action steps displayed in a pie chart. And if you’re like me and the hubs, those two people are a couple! Either way, if those goals include buying your first home in 2015, you’ll need a plan (pie chart optional).
- Get a copy of your credit report and correct any negative information listed. Be sure to check Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Lenders may use FICO information from all three or it could be just one. Each company policy varies.
- Save for a downpayment and closing costs. You’ll need at least 3.5% of the purchase price for the downpayment unless you are a Veteran. They may qualify for zero down. Closing costs will be about another 3% of purchase price. It is possible to negotiate to have this expense paid by the seller with a good offer.
- Receiving funds as a gift to cover downpayment or closing costs? Consult with your lender before depositing a check into a personal account. There are strict rules that must be followed.
- Talk to a lender to determine how much house you can afford based on your current income and expenses with different loan scenarios Review a Good Faith Estimate of costs involved.
- Make a list of things you must have in your first home. How many bedrooms? Specific area or school district?
- Schedule a Buyer Consultation with a Realtor to begin learning the process so you’ll know what to expect along the way