How to Buy a Home You Can Afford
Buying a home takes a lot of time, not to mention money. Before diving in, you should fully understand the process. Here’s how to buy a home you can afford in three basic steps.
Step 1. Start the hunt
The home-buying process may begin a year or more before the actual purchase. Start by viewing home listings online to figure out which types of homes you can afford. Look at homes in your favorite neighborhoods and review statistics and reports on home values. Use this early part of the process to dream about some of your favorite home features and to create a list of priorities.
Step 2. Do your homework
Most would-be home buyers need a mortgage to purchase a home. You need to know what you can afford and the types of loans available, as well as how what you can afford will affect your home search. Get your credit report to understand your financial situation. You may need to repair your credit score and save more money before buying. Use the next few months to address any financial issues, and to get pre-approved for a home loan.
Step 3. Dive in
At some point, connect with a local real estate agent. Having that person by your side from the get-go is invaluable. Use this time to go to open houses, make appointments and see as many homes as possible. Before making an offer, you’ll need to know the market inside and out. The more homes you see, the more you’ll know about your local market. And the more confidence you’ll have when that dream house comes along.