Four Tips to Help You Find Your Dream Home
As the weather warms up this spring, the housing market is sure to heat up as well. If you’re thinking about looking at
homes this spring, you’re probably overwhelmed with information right now. There’s a lot to consider including whether or not you need an agent, getting your finances in order, finding a lender etc. With this in mind, OneUnited Bank has created a list of several simple tips to help members navigate the saturated waters of the home buying process. For more information about single family mortgages in the areas we serve (Boston, LA, and Miami), please contact a loan representative today.
Get Your Credit in Order: Most real estate and personal finance experts recommend that potential home buyers take a careful look at their credit a few months before they start looking at homes, which is why you should order a credit report right now. That way you can challenge any mistakes or remove any red flags. If you have less than perfect credit and have more time, you could also apply for a secured credit card to rebuild your credit.
Track Your Spending: If you rent, you’ll probably have a different expense sheet than if you owned. When you buy, you do get tax breaks and could ultimately pay less monthly, but you also are responsible for all costs – water, heat, electric, property taxes, home maintenance, etc. It might be a good idea to track your spending for a few months to see where you’re spending your money and whether or not you can amend your spending habits to account for your new home expenses.
Determine How Much You Can Afford: Before you start house hunting, it might be a good idea to determine how much you can afford. Oftentimes, first-time home buyers may have one idea of how much home they can afford, while a lender may have a completely different number in mind. Knowing how much home you can afford can concentrate the search, so you’re not wasting your time. Use a mortgage calculator to determine your likely monthly payments and compare that to your current rent and budget to determine how much you can afford.
Find a Real Estate Agent You Trust: As we mentioned above, there is just too much information out there that a potential homebuyer must be aware of. A real estate agent is savvy enough to know where you should be looking, how you can save money, and how to avoid any potential pitfalls. It’s important to also share information with family and friends to help you choose the right home for you. A good real estate agent will be happy to share their recommended strategy with your family and friends.