Becoming a homeowner takes a lot more than a desire to buy a house. It takes a lot of effort on your part to save up a down payment — which is usually a pretty good sized chunk of change — research neighborhoods, find the right REALTOR® and get pre-approved for a loan and other steps. Fortunately, it is quite possible to say goodbye to renting and hello to homeownership, especially when homeowners-to-be consider the following tips:
Focus on the Down Payment
In order to buy, you are going to need a down payment — plain and simple. While it is common to put down 20 percent, some lenders now allow a much smaller amount, and first-time home buyer programs may go as low as 3 percent. (We have several down payment assistance programs to help, --including, grant programs and 1% down programs*) While a smaller down payment may sound enticing, a 5 percent down payment on a $200K home is still $10,000 — not exactly a small sum. If saving money does not come naturally for you, don’t worry. Nevada also has a few grant programs to help-one of which is our Home Is Possible Grant. Take a close look at your monthly bills and determine what you can pare down or eliminate — maybe you are paying $75 a month for a gym membership you rarely use, or you pay $40 extra for premium satellite channels that no one watches. Everything helps to add up and get you into that new home.
Check Your Credit Report
When you start the pre-approval process, your credit report will be pulled numerous times. Your credit score will then be used to determine if you are approved for a loan, and what type of interest rate you will get. Please do not wait until you have the down payment saved and you are champing at the bit to go look at houses — Talk to a lender and check your credit as early in the process as you can. If you have a credit card that has been issued through your bank, give them a call and see if they can run your report for you for free; in the cases of some credit cards, they also offer a free monthly FICO score check. Read through the report and check for any errors; this includes credit lines you never opened and delinquent payments that you know were made on time. Dispute any mistakes that you find and look for ways to boost your credit score, like paying down credit card bills and setting up automatic bill pay so you are never late with your payments. If you need credit repair assistance, we can help you find the right lender and work on your credit until you are ready to buy.
If you really want to stop renting and start buying, call me and let's get started. There are so many reasons why buying makes sense, and we are here to assist you with preferred lenders, home inspectors, title reps and to answer any questions.