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  • Writer's pictureClare R. Okyere

4 Essentials As You Prepare To Buy a Home

If purchasing a home is on your list of goals, the tips below will help you get started today.

1. Start With a Pre-Approval

Many eager homebuyers jump into house hunting before getting a pre-approval. Starting with a pre-approval (or at minimum a consult and pre-qualification with a mortgage professional if you are still a ways out from buying) will give you a realistic budget and let you know the amount for which you will likely be approved. It will also help you determine a realistic amount to save up for purchase related expenses such as your down payment and closing costs. Starting with your mortgage professional will help you avoid surprises and ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. And if the right home comes along more quickly than you thought it would, having your pre-approval in place will help you seize the opportunity and make a confident offer.

2. Maintain Regular Employment

Lenders will look at employment history and income when you apply for a home loan. Maintain regular employment so you are prepared to qualify. Most lenders will look for two years of employment history. If you are self-employed, working with an experienced mortgage professional familiar with self-employed borrowers is essential as not all mortgage professionals are familiar with the ins and outs of supporting self-employed borrowers. If you are wanting to purchase a home and are about to change employment, reach out to your mortgage professional first. They can answer questions about how the change you are considering may impact your home buying journey.

3. Boost Your Credit Score

Keeping your credit score up will give you the most options at the best available rate once you are ready to buy a home. These tips will help you keep your credit score up:

  • Pay bills on time

  • Pay off debt and keep balances as low as possible

  • Keep unused credit cards open as long as they are not incurring fees/penalties

  • Limit "hits" on your credit

  • Regularly monitor your credit and dispute inaccuracies as needed

4. Save For Your Down Payment & Closing Costs

Your down payment and closing costs will vary depending on the type of loan and your individual scenario. In general, most people will put down 3-5% of the loan for the down payment, and will need to pay 1-2% of the loan value for closing costs. When you are saving, using this range will help you budget. Connect with your mortgage expert early in this process, and they can give you a more accurate target based on your specific scenario. They can also answer questions about any down payment assistance programs that may be available.

What Do I Do Next?

No matter what stage you are at in your homeownership journey, communicating with a trusted mortgage professional is the best way to start your home buying journey. They can provide guidance and support to make your home buying goal reality.

Our team at O Capital Group is here to listen to your goals and answer any questions you may have. Reach out today!

At O Capital Group, we make home loans easy!

Call today: (602) 492-8930

We love learning from your journey! Leave us a comment below.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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