Thinking of buying a home in the New Year? It’s never too early to start planning. Whether this is your first house or your third, here are some tips to help kickstart your home buying journey.

Rank Your Must-haves vs. Nice-to-Haves

Buying an existing house that you didn’t design from the ground up will most likely not check all your dream home boxes. So just know going in that the home buying experience is full of compromises. The best way to start is making a list of all your needs and wants in a new home, and then rank them in order of importance. This will help you narrow the scope so you aren’t wasting time looking at homes that don’t fit your plan.

Decide Where You Want to Live

Next, think about where you want to live and how it fits into your lifestyle needs. Consider the accessibility to work, school, shopping, and dining. Look at the amenities that each neighborhood offers. Are there plans for future development? Do you want to have access to greenspaces? Do you want to be in a planned community, or do you want a house with lots of land? Also, rule out the locations you absolutely are not interested in living.

Assess Your Finances

Now that you know what you want in a house, it’s time to make sure you can afford that dream home before you go shopping. Set a solid budget buy taking a look at your existing total monthly debts and include the estimated new mortgage payment – which shouldn’t be more than 43% of your gross monthly income.

Start padding your savings account to help pay the upfront costs, including a down payment, closing costs, PMI, mortgage lender fees, HOA dues, escrow fees, and insurance and property taxes to name a few.

Check-in On Your Credit Score

A good credit score lets lenders know your ability to pay your monthly bills, including a mortgage payment. As you assess your finances, get a credit history report too so there are no hidden “uh-ohs” when you sit down with a lender to secure your financing. Knowing your score early in the game gives you time to correct any errors or work with creditors to take care of any past credit events.

Keep in mind, the better your credit history, the more likely you are to get a good interest rate on your mortgage loan.

Speak with a professional mortgage loan office at Luxury Mortgage

Buying a home is a huge step and a long-term commitment. But you don’t have to go it alone. Luxury Mortgage can help you get started by prequalifying for your mortgage loan. It takes just minutes, and you’ll know how much you can afford to pay for a home. Connect with one of our licensed mortgage consultants today to get started.

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