Buying a home right now might seem challenging while many areas have touring in person prohibited or inadvisable in other cases. Job or economic uncertainty may also have you thinking twice about buying. But, there are still steps you can take now so you’re ready to act when the time feels right or even now!
Step 1: Find Your Price Range-There are many affordability calculators you can use online to get a good idea of what you can afford. For a more comprehensive number contact a lender to get started.
Step 2: Keep Saving-If you can, continue setting money aside for your down payment and potential closing cost. The amounts can vary depending on the lender and loan type.
Step 3:Check Your Credit-Your credit score can impact the interest rate you qualify for. You can request a free copy of your credit report from any of the three major credit reporting agencies. Review it carefully and check for discrepancies. Work on improving your score (by paying down credit card debt, for example), and avoid taking out large loans during this time. You can also add your utilities to improve your credit score in some cases.
Step 4: Gather Info & Advice-Look at homes online to see what’s available in your price range. Think about your must-haves and nice-to-haves so you can focus your search when you’re ready to take the next step. Reach out to a realtor who can provide helpful neighborhood and market information. In some cases you can access your own personal portal to search for homes.
Step 5: Identify pre-approval materials-A pre-approval letter is usually needed with any home offer and comes from your lender. So you’ll need to apply with a lender to get one when you’re closer to buying. Make sure you have (or can get) the documents you’ll need, such as tax returns, W2s, pay stubs and bank statements. Lenders may also want to see evidence of your down payment. If you’re getting help from friends or family make sure the money is in your account prior to applying for your loan.