In everyone’s life, there are some major decisions. These decisions call for much thought and consideration. Buying a home is a major decision.
In everyone’s life, there are many minor decisions. These decisions usually require less thought and consideration than the major decisions. A common example is ‘Where will I go on vacation?’
Let’s consider this minor decision. Before going on vacation, you do some planning. You pick a destination, search out lodging options, research activities, and figure out how you are going to get there – and how you are going to pay for it.
If a minor decision is given this much attention, shouldn’t a major decision be given even more?
The home buying process is exactly that, it is a ‘process’. Time and effort spent methodically going through the steps will pay off in the end. The first step is working with a lending institution to figure out how much you can afford to spend on a home. This does not have to be complicated. . The lender will have a full list of the information you should gather, such as tax returns for the previous two years, documentation of wages and other income, such as child support or alimony; and a list of regular monthly, quarterly or annual payments. Your credit report will be pulled and the lender can discuss with you how high your score is and exactly what that means. Closely review the information to make sure it is accurate.
What if your credit score is too low to qualify for a home loan? As disappointing as this might be, it actually puts you in position to realistically look at your financial condition. Your lender should be able to give you ideas on how to improve your score. This may take some time. For instance, if you have a history of late credit card payments, you will need to consistently make all your payments on time. You can improve your credit score, over time, if you follow the process of paying your bills when they are due.
Work with your lender until you are ‘Pre-Approved’! Now you start the process of looking for a home! Your lender will give you a preliminary loan amount, start looking at homes in that range. It is time to give serious consideration to what type of home you want and to start exploring the housing options in your area.
Written by Barb Smed, Broker/Owner
Northeast Iowa Realty
17 Allamakee Street
Waukon, IA 52172
Licensed to sell real estate in Iowa