The home buying process is a stressful affair. This is most likely the single largest financial investment anyone will make in their lives. Therefore it is important that you prepare for buying a home in advance. Working vigorously towards debt relief and being smart in your financial management is key to a solid foundation in the process. The most important part of being a first time home buyer is deciding ahead of time what you can afford. From then on, you take the steps to prepare for a long-term financial commitment.
Advice to Prepare for Buying a Home
- Check & improve credit – Our credit counseling advice is to check your credit report with all three credit reporting agencies. This ensures there is no erroneous information on individual credit reports. Consumers should focus on making their credit score as strong as possible. With a score of 760 or higher, consumers can qualify for the lowest interest rates. Anything below can still qualify, but the interest rates will be higher.
- Take a pre-purchase homebuyer education course – Homebuyer education classes save consumers time and stress. Offered both online and in person, these classes provide a thorough background on home buying advice and information, including different types of loans that may be available.
- Know your budget – Take a look at your budget to see if there is anything you can live without or cut back on. It is important that Millennials know their limits when it comes to purchasing a house. Be sure to factor in all the expenses that come with owning a home, such as property taxes, insurance, potential HOA fees, maintenance and other expenses.
- Manage Debt – Pay down outstanding debts, including credit cards and current loans, such as a car loan. Paying down current debt can help prepare consumers for the financial responsibility they are about to endure with home ownership.
- Save – The more money Millennials are able to put down towards their mortgage loan, the more attractive they are to lenders. If a consumer is able to put down more than 20 percent, they will not have to pay private mortgage insurance.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.