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Are you thinking about buying your first home? Buying a home for the first time is an exciting but challenging process.  Having a solid home buying plan can reduce some of the stress of buying a home for the first time and help you buy your dream home.

I have included some tips below to help you get ready to purchase your first home.

  1. Have a clear budget

Before you consider starting the home buying process, take time to develop a realistic budget for your new home. Review your finances with your spouse and financial advisor. Having a budget will help you determine how much house you can afford. Staying within your budget will help when you apply for a mortgage.

There will be expenses for your new home so be sure to include these in your budget.

  1. Lower your debt to income ratio

Banks assess your debt to income ration when evaluating your ability to pay for your new home.  A high debt to income ratio can make it difficult to obtain financing.

While you do not have to be entirely out of debt before starting the home buying process, paying down your debt will do wonders for your credit score, help you qualify for a mortgage and help you obtain a better financing rate.

Consider paying down your credit card debt.  A good rule of thumb is to use less than 30% total available credit.

  1. Get pre-approved

Obtaining a pre-approval from your mortgage lender is an essential step in the home buying process. While pre-approval is not a guarantee of final loan approval, it will provide you with reliable proof that you are financially able to buy a home.

  1. Develop a wish list

 Develop a list of the features you would like in your new home.  Make a non-negotiable list; a list of features that you absolutely must have in your new home. Also, make a list of features that are not as important to your decision.  Knowing this list will help you quickly narrow the available homes in your market.  This list is also a valuable resource for your realtor who will compile a list of homes based on your criteria.

  1. Find a realtor you can trust

Choosing the right realtor is an essential step in the home buying process.  A great realtor will help you find and win your dream home.  You want an experienced realtor that is knowledgeable about the market you are looking to buy in.  Your realtor will make sure they understand what type of home you are looking for and will help you choose from homes that fit your budget.  They will also help you craft a winning offer letter.

Take time to look at recent property sales in your area.  Look for realtors with current activity and great reviews.

Following these steps can help you in your home buying process and ensure that buying your first home is an enjoyable experience. Visit our blog for more tips on buying your first home.