Buying a home is an exciting milestone and should be a fun process! Here are some tips that may help along the way!
Use these steps when buying your next home.
1. Get a financial check-up.
Before making a large financial commitment, most advise that you closely examine your financial situation. Even if it seems that you can "make the payment", there are many other expenses, many unexpected, that arise when owning your own home. ECU recommends that you do a couple of things to make sure you're financially ready for this next step.
- CHECK YOUR CREDIT SCORE - Your credit score will have a large impact on the home you can afford due to monthly interest. You want the best credit score possible to be able to get the most home for your money. Visit Annual Credit Report to get your free credit report. You may also visit ECU's Credit Information to learn more about improving your score.
- FREE FINANCIAL REVIEW - If you have loans with other lending sources, let ECU review your credit report to see if there are ways you can save money each month. To set up a free financial review, visit any branch or call 800-999-2328.
2. Determine what you're looking for in a home and find a realtor.
Are you looking to build or purchase your next home? Maybe you aren't sure which makes the most sense for you. That's okay. There are plenty of resources to help you determine what's best for you. If you can't decide exactly what you want, a good realtor can share the pros and cons of your options. They know the market and they know what's available. Good realtors do more than show you homes, they look out for your best interest and make sure you get the best deal possible. They arrange the inspections and use their experience to advise you toward the decision that is best for you. Some people choose to not use a realtor, and that's fine. However, you must be ready to do a lot of work and research if you're not extremely familiar with the home buying/selling process.
3. Get prequalified and start shopping!
A prequalification doesn't guarantee that you'll get the loan but it provides a "ball park" to allow you to begin shopping with some idea as to what will meet your budget. Prequalifications are usually for a set amount of time, like 30 days.
Now that you know what you can afford, it's time to shop. Looking for a new home can be equally exciting and overwhelming. Determining what you really need versus what you can afford and what you really like versus what is really functional for your lifestyle, can be difficult. However, your realtor will help you. Worksheets like the one below is also good to help you stay focused during your search.
4. Narrow down your selections to your top two or three choices and get preapproved.
Once you're fairly certain that you are getting close to making an offer, you must confirm that the money will be there. So, it's time to get preapproved. At this time ECU will evaluate your credit worthiness and extend you an offer of a loan for a specific amount. There may conditions on the preapproval and it may only last for a certain amount of time. The preapproval places home ownership in your reach. Now, you just have to make your final decision and negotiate the deal.
Are you planning to apply for a mortgage? Preparing the documents you may need to provide ahead of time can help ensure the process proceeds quickly and smoothly.
Now, Close on your home and move in!
Your realtor and mortgage loan officer will guide you through the process and make it as smooth as possible. When it's all said and done, you will be a homeowner!