(MotivateDaily.com) – House-hunting can be a challenging and confusing process when you’re a first-time homebuyer. If you’re like me when I bought my first house, you probably have no idea what you’re doing.
You might be tempted to wing it and try to figure everything out as you go. To some extent, this is the best way to learn. But believe me — there will be a few tidbits of information you’ll likely wish you’d learned earlier instead of later.
The Mistake First-Time Homebuyers Make
When I started shopping for my first house, I made a mistake. I began looking at available houses and inquiring about them without having a solid plan. I didn’t know what documentation I would need or what types of approvals I would have to search for. I just jumped right in, and it cost me a nice place.
The house-buying market can be competitive, and sometimes the window to reach out to sellers is a small one. If you’re not prepared to make an offer immediately, you could lose out on a house you want within 24 to 48 hours. This isn’t enough time to get all your affairs in order for a home.
What You Need to Buy a Home Successfully
It’s okay to research the local house market ahead of time, but there are some issues you need to address before you can start making serious offers. Here are a few preliminary steps that can help you expedite the house-buying process:
- Partner with a real estate agent. When in doubt, ask a real estate agent. Housing agents are experts in the industry who can help you find the right house and answer questions you may have about the process.
- Have all your money in one place. Whether you take out a loan or pay for the home in full, you may need to make a quick payment or provide bank statements. Having all your funds in one place ensures that you’re prepared to pay necessary fees upfront.
- Check your credit score. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your credit score can have a big impact on your ability to get a mortgage at a fair interest rate. If you don’t know your current credit score, I recommend having it checked when you start looking for mortgage lenders.
- Seek loan pre-approval. It’s easier to set a budget and decide how much you can afford when you seek pre-approval for a mortgage. Consider talking to multiple lenders and find out how much you qualify for. Some providers might have better opportunities than others.
- Know which documents and paperwork you need. To apply for a loan or make an offer on a house, you may be required to show employment paystubs, tax documents, proof of funds, debt histories and more. You can reach out to your housing agent and mortgage lender to find out what you’ll need.
If I had known all this information before starting my house search, I could have saved loads of time and energy. Now that you have the facts, you can enter the housing market a little wiser and a little more prepared. It’s time to get out there and find the home you’ve always dreamed of!
~Here’s to Your Success!
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