Planning ahead before you buy a home will offer you convenience, confidence, plus a fun and rewarding experience! Listed below are seven tips to ensure that your home buying plans stay on track and yield successful results!
- Decide how much home you can afford:
Generally, you can afford a home priced 2 to 2.5 times your gross income. Remember to consider costs every homeowner must cover such as; property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community association fees, if applicable, as well as costs specific to your family, such as day care, medical expenses and transportation.
- Develop your list wish:
Be honest about which features you must have and which you'd like to have. Handicap accessibility for an aging parent or special needs child is a must. Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are in the bonus category. Come up with your top-five must-haves and top-five wants, to help you focus your search and make a logical, rather than emotional choice when home shopping.
- Select where you want to live:
Make a list of your top five community priorities, such as; commute time, schools, and recreational facilities. Ask your Realtor at Acuity Group to help you identify three to four target neighborhoods, based on your priorities.
- Start saving:
Have you saved enough money to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20% of the purchase price set aside for a down payment, but some loan programs allow as little as 3.5% down. Depending on the loan program you qualify for, you may be required to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). Depending on the size of your loan, PMI can add hundreds to your monthly payment.
- Educate yourself to all expenses before you start shopping:
The down payment is just one home buying cost. Your Buyer’s Agent at Acuity Group can advise you of other fees you should be aware of when purchasing a home, such as: home inspections, appraisal fees, closing costs, etc. You also need to tally up the extras you may want to purchase after you move-in, such as; window coverings, new carpet, furniture, etc.
- Get your credit in order:
Your credit report details your borrowing history, including any late payments, bad debt, and includes a credit score. Lenders lean heavily on your credit report and credit score in determining whether, how much, and at what interest rate they will lend to you. You're entitled to free copies of your credit reports annually from the major credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. CreditKarma.com is another fabulous free online source that allows you to monitor your credit score and reports at any time. Pour over your credit report and make sure the information is accurate. If errors are noted, correct immediately. If your credit score isn't up to snuff, the easiest ways to raise your score is to pay every bill on time and pay down high credit card debt - or enlist the assistance of your Mortgage Lender or Credit Repair Specialist.
- Meet with a Mortgage Lender:
Meet with a Mortgage Lender to become "pre-qualified". This will let you know if you qualify for a home mortgage and the maximum loan amount that you qualify for. After you pre-qualify, your Lender will give you a list of required documents they need to review and verify, in order for you to become "pre-approved". Once you are pre-approved, your Lender will issue a "pre-approval letter", which your Real Estate Agent will need in order to submit an offer on the home of your choosing. The required documents your Lender may request include; W2’s, tax returns, paystubs, bank statements, etc. You will also need to consider your financing options such as loan term; the longer the loan term - the lower your monthly payment, and the shorter the loan term - the higher the payment. You'll also need to decide on a "fixed rate mortgage" or an "adjustable rate mortgage" (ARM). A fixed rate mortgage offers you stability in monthly payments for the loan term and an ARM offers a lower monthly payment option - however, an ARM may adjust dramatically, so be sure to calculate your affordability at both the lowest and highest possible rate if you choose an ARM.
“If you are thinking of buying, selling, renting your home, or leasing real estate this year I’d love to hear from you! Working with an experienced professional can boost your profits!”
Do you need assistance in purchasing a new home? If so, click HERE and request the expert assistance of Acuity Group!
564 Dodge Ave, Suite A
Elk River, MN 55330
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OUR SPECIALTIES: Residential & Commercial Seller and Buyer Services, Property Management & Residential Rentals, Residential and Commercial Investment Property Specialists, Listing & Marketing Specialists, CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Experts), Short Sale Specialists, REO/Bank Owned Sales. Golf course properties, water front properties, acreage & hobby farms, vacant land, condos & townhomes, industrial/manufacturing/retail properties, association maintained properties, senior housing, luxury homes, vacation & secondary housing.
Serving the following Minneapolis Cities & Suburbs: Elk River MN, Zimmerman MN, Big Lake MN, Rogers MN, Otsego MN, St. Michael MN, Albertville MN, Princeton MN, Ramsey MN, Anoka MN, Nowthen MN, Monticello MN, Oak Grove MN, Burns Township MN, Champlin MN, Dayton MN, Hassen Township MN, Coon Rapids MN, Blaine MN, Fridley MN, St. Francis MN, Livonia Township, Andover MN, Becker MN, Baldwin Township, Orrock Township, Plymouth MN, Maple Grove MN, Osseo MN.
Serving the following Minnesota Counties: Sherburne, Anoka, Wright, Hennepin and portions of Isanti County