ACT WITH CARE TO PREPARE
Buying a home is most likely the largest financial decision you’ll ever make. Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind a few tips for things to do and things to avoid as you begin the process.
- Don’t apply for any credit cards. Applying for new credit can temporarily hurt your credit score, which can raise red flags for mortgage lenders.
- Don’t close any credit cards. Closing a credit card has the potential to lower your credit score, now or in the future.
- Don’t buy a car—or any other large purchases that require extensive credit checks, financing, etc. Lenders need to see proof that you can afford a house, and it’s easier to afford a house when you’re not also paying for a car (or a couch, or a vacation…).
- Keep paying your bills on time. As you apply for a mortgage loan, you will need to prove your financial responsibility. Don’t let anything lapse! It’s a bummer to keep paying rent every month as you wait for closing day, but late or missed payments on rent, credit cards, and other financed items can be a major red flag.
- Start practicing savvy budgeting. Owning a home often comes with expenses you may not have considered, so it’s best to prepare by learning to stretch your budget now. That way you’ll be able to cover unexpected costs without needing a complete lifestyle adjustment.
- Keep talking to your agent. They’ve been through this process before, and they’ll be happy to counsel you on financial decisions!
Practice common sense with your finances and you’ll be off to a great start.