Tossing around the idea of buying a home? The process may seem daunting and overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start. That’s where we come in!
Solid Realty Group houses licensed REALTOR® — note the registered trademark. We are trained & licensed professionals — whose entire job is assisting individuals with buying and selling real estate! We know the in’s and out’s of the industry and are fully prepared to meet you, wherever you may be in the process, and help get you to the next step.
What Credit Score is Needed to Buy a House?
The first thing to start thinking about is your credit score. When you apply for a loan, all mortgage lenders are going to take a look at your financial history and credit score before accepting your loan request. It is beneficial to have an idea of where you’re currently at, to help you gauge your timeline for buying a home. You may need to work on improving your credit score for a few months before taking the next steps! (Don’t be discouraged, everyone starts somewhere!)
It’s important to understand that depending on what loan type you qualify for, there may be a minimum credit score required to purchase a home. For example, VA loans don’t have a specific qualifying credit score, whereas a conventional loan may require a 620+ credit score. However, keep in mind lenders may have their own set policies.
How Much is a Down Payment on a House?
Now that you have an idea of where your credit score sits and your timeline for purchasing, it’s time to begin setting aside funds to cover your down payment and closing costs. Keep in mind the more you put down upfront, the lower your monthly payments will be. Remember that there are several loan types that you may qualify for and loan types like VA or USDA don’t require a down payment! Typically, it’s recommended to put down around 20% of the home price. Some lenders and programs will accept less than 20% down, but may require you to buy mortgage insurance. It’s important to find a lender that you feel comfortable with and can trust, as they will be able to thoroughly explain your options when it comes to obtaining a loan to purchase your home!
How Much Are Closing Costs?
As far as closing costs, the amount needed will vary depending on your loan amount and the tax requirements for the area you are located in. You can generally anticipate your closing costs to be anywhere from 3% to 6% of the purchase price; however, you’ll be provided with an exact number from your lender.
To ensure you know exactly what you’ll owe, your lender will provide you with a Loan Estimate within 3 days of receiving your home loan application, explaining and itemizing the loan terms, projected payments and the closing costs for your potential mortgage. Don’t worry, you’ll have an exact number in mind and can begin saving!
Before getting too far ahead, it’s useful to determine how much you can comfortably spend on your mortgage payment each month, without overextending yourself. While your lender will advise you on how much you qualify for, it’s good to budget out your monthly income on your own and get an idea on what your ideal price range is. You want to make sure you can comfortably make your payment each month without putting a strain on your wallet.
Need It. Want It. Gotta Have It.
Now comes the fun!
It’s time to get down to business in determining your wants and your needs when it comes to your ideal home. Think: location, size, age/condition, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, price, lot size, etc. Not sure where to start? Here are some great starter questions to ask yourself:
- Am I willing to do some work on the home, or do I want something that is ‘move in ready’?
- How far am I willing to commute to work? (Perhaps you work from home; is a designated office space a must?)
- Is the backyard space important to me, or will neighborhood amenities like walking trails and a recreation center be sufficient?
Take a few minutes to break down what a typical “day in the life” looks like for you, and what your overall lifestyle (or ideal lifestyle!) is. What types of things are REALLY important, and MUST-haves in your new home, and what additions would just be great to have? Once you’ve determined and shared this with your hired REALTOR®, they’ll be able to begin sharing properties that meet your needs, and the real fun begins!
Where are you in the process? Have questions about reaching the next step? We are here to help!