I hope you’re doing well and having a great start to the year! If one of your goals for 2024 is to buy a new home or make a strategic move in the real estate market, there are a few actions you can take now at the beginning of the year to set you up for success down the road.
Take a look at a few such initial steps below, and feel free to share this information with anyone you think may be interested:
- Start by checking your credit score to see if it’s changed. You can obtain a copy of your credit report from Equifax, TransUnion, or other major credit bureaus. A conventional loan requires a credit score of at least 620, but it’s ideal to be at or above 740. If your score is lower than this, you will want to consider improving it before beginning the real estate search. I recommend paying off outstanding balances as much as possible, and it’s also very important you avoid opening new lines of credit before and during your search.
- Start thinking about your budget. Online mortgage calculators can give you a rough estimate of what you can realistically afford. But as you get more serious about buying, it’s good to have a clearer, more personalized budget to work with. Feel free to reach out, and I can help you nail down a more specific budget number based on your current circumstances and my knowledge of our area’s market.
- Begin saving for a down payment. Typically, you will need to put down between 3% and 20% of the home’s purchase price, but there are circumstances where putting down less may make sense. While you’re saving, it can be helpful to establish a dedicated savings account to accumulate your down payment funds as you search for your new home.
I understand that purchasing a home is one of the most significant financial decisions you can make, so please know that I’m here to help you make informed decisions along the way.