How to prepare to buy a home
Purchasing a house is one of the single biggest financial investments Millennials will make in their lives. It can be a complicated and intimidating process, but with the right preparation and research, buying a home can be manageable and less stressful. According to the 2017 annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the largest share of home buyers (34 percent) are Millennials at 36 years old and younger. The most important part of buying a home is deciding ahead of time what you can afford and to take the steps to prepare for a long-term financial commitment.
ACCC offers necessary advice for Millennial homebuyers.
- Check & improve credit – It is important to check your credit report with all three credit reporting agencies to ensure 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 class – 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 any outstanding debt including credit cards or 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 homeownership.
- 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.