3 First Steps To Buying A Home

Are you tired of renting your current apartment or house? Do you wish that you could repaint walls or hang up pictures without having to get the permission of your landlord? Whether you'd prefer to purchase a condo or a single-family house, once you've bought it then you're able to do anything that is legal without having to worry about what anyone else might think. 

But in order to be able to do that, you first need to go through the home-buying process. This can seem confusing, but it can be made much easier if you make a list of things that need to be done and take everything one at a time. Some of the first things you need to do include:

1. Check your credit: In order to buy a home, you'll need to get a lender to write a mortgage on the home that you're wanting to buy. Before they'll do that, they'll want to know that you'll be able to pay off the mortgage and they check that by looking at your credit report. Unfortunately, it's possible that transposed digits of a social security number or other information mean that your report has someone else's debt on it. You'll need to check your credit and dispute any bills that seem incorrect and/or fraudulent. 

2. Get a real estate agent: A real estate agent can be extremely helpful when it comes to answering questions you might have about the home-buying process. When you are confused about your next step, a real estate agent can help explain what's going on and what you need to do. If you're worried about the cost, you don't have to pay a real estate agent anything when you buy a home. Instead, the seller is required to pay the real estate agent's fee.

3. Figure out a budget: The amount of money that a lender is willing to give you to buy a home may or may not align with your own personal budget. In general, it's figured that you'll be willing and able to spend between 1/3 and 1/2 of your pre-tax income on housing. But if utility costs are high in your area, you may want to look for something with a lower monthly mortgage payment so that you'll have more money for utilities. 

If you're planning to increase your family size in the future, you'll want to make sure that there is enough leeway in your budget for that. Sit down and figure out what the difference is between what the bank says you can pay and what you think you can actually pay and look for a home that fits your personal budget.