Owning your own next home doesn’t have to be just a dream. A little patience and preparation could have you holding the keys to your own property much sooner than you might expect.
Here’s what you need to know about preparing to buy a home in 2020.
Figure Out How Much Of a Downpayment You Need and Save It
Nearly all lenders will require a downpayment before they will approve you for a mortgage. This is usually a minimum of 5% of the sale price of the home, this will enable you to own a small part of your new property at the start of the process. However, it is important to be aware that the larger the deposit, the smaller your monthly payments for your mortgage could be because you’re borrowing less from the lender. You may also qualify for a lower interest rate, which could save you thousands on the total cost of your loan.
See If There Are Any Home Buying Programs You Are Eligible For
The U.S. government regularly implements new programs that could make it easier for you to buy a home, provided that you meet their qualification requirements. Some of the federal home buying schemes that you could potentially be eligible for include:
FHA loans for first-time homebuyers
Single-family housing programs for rural residents
Programs for service members and veterans
There may also be alternative programs offered by your state. Contact your state housing finance agency or state HUD office for more information.
Improve Your Credit Score as Much as Possible
The main thing that lenders will look at to determine if you qualify for a mortgage is your credit score. The higher your credit score is, the more attractive you are as a borrower. Your credit score will be based on your credit history, the number of open accounts you have, your levels of debt, and your repayment history. This will help them to decide if you can afford to take on additional debt, and the probability that you will repay on time. Credit scores also strongly influence the amount of interest you will be required to pay. Usually the higher your credit score, the lower rate of interest you will be asked to repay.
Find Out How Much You Can Borrow and Get Pre-Approved For Your Mortgage
Before you start looking at properties, it is essential to find out how much you can borrow. The size of the mortgage you are eligible for will depend on various circumstances including how much of a downpayment you have made, your income, and any other financial commitments you have. Most mortgage lenders will offer between 3 and 4 times your single or joint annual income. Once you know how much you can borrow, get pre-approved. This is basically a promise from the lender to show that you are qualified to borrow a certain amount of money at a specific interest rate, subject to a property appraisal and a few other requirements. Having a pre-approval letter will show sellers that you are in a position to buy and move forward with a purchase.
Find a Great Real Estate Agent
Finally, you should employ the services of a great real estate agent. A great local real estate agent can be valuable to house hunting and the home buying process for a number of reasons.
They will know the area you want to buy in, often having insider knowledge of properties that are coming onto the market before they actually do. This enables you to get in and see the properties before they are advertised to the masses.
They understand the market in the area and what you should be paying for a property. They will ensure that you don’t overpay for a home and will help you to negotiate the right deal.
They will accompany you to home inspections and act as an impartial pair of eyes, helping you to see things from a practical point of view rather than running the risk of your heart ruling your head. Their experience also enables them to see things that you might miss.
They will be able to handle many of the time-consuming aspects of paperwork and negotiations on your behalf.
They will have your best interests at heart and will work hard to secure you the property of your dreams.
If you would like more advice on how to prepare to buy a home in 2020, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced and dedicated real estate team in San Antonio, TX.