Buying a home is one of the most important tasks a family makes. A home, after all, is most Americans’ most valuable asset, often being worth over ten times as much as their car. As a result, you need to take proper steps to make sure you buy a home that you can afford and enjoy.
Step 1: Get a credit report
Since you will be taking out a loan, you need to make sure that you know what your credit score is in your credit report. In the old days, credit reports were hard to come by and many people did not have the slightest idea as to what they were. They might tie individual lapses in credit with a low credit score and think “I always pay the bills on time” with a high credit score, but they would not really know what a credit score is. It’s actually a number that companies use to determine how creditworthy a person is. As a result, it is important to have a good credit score if you want to get a good housing loan.
Step 2: Decide your price range
Lots of people want McMansions but not everybody can afford one. You need to know what your family can afford, and what you will be able to pay off. To do this you need to figure out how much money you will be making over the course of your mortgage. You will also want to have some money saved up so that you can keep making payments if you lose your job.
Step 3: Find a good realtor
There are plenty of homes for sale on craigslist and many of them are posted by real estate companies. It is good to shop on your own for a house and then after that find out who the realtor is and check their history to see if they sell shoddy houses. Other strategies include knowing a realtor personally so that you do not get ripped off; this is a lot like having a neighbor who is a mechanic and asking them to look at your car.
About the author: Murray Newlands is the CEO and Founder of Influence People, a blogger outreach and online marketing firm in San Francisco.