When it comes to buying a home, there’s a lot more to it than just touring through different properties. It’s about budgeting, saving, and managing your finances. Learning what your price range is, how much home you can afford, and finding the perfect realtor and lender team to help you find your dream home and secure it. It can be pretty overwhelming and easy to get lost, so staying organized is essential. Check out these tips to help you stay in control of purchasing your home.
The Binder Rule
I live and breathe by this rule. If you’re like me, organizing anything has an unusual amount of excitement to it. Having one place to put everything for a particular topic or idea is an excellent way to have quick access to it all.
Since you’ll need to be able to retrieve all your information on multiple occasions, place your notes, lists, print outs, and important documents in a binder and use tabs to sort everything into categories. If it’s digital, create folders and subfolders to sort through it all. No more rummaging through loose papers to find one you might need.
Get A Clear Look at Your Finances
The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure your finances are in order. Be punctual about paying bills on time, keep track of your credit score, and sort out any outstanding balances you may owe. Reviewing your financial background and evaluating your credit with your lender is a crucial step in securing a loan and finding a home.
Get Your Mortgage Paperwork in Order
Having a preapproval letter is a very important step in the home buying process, so ask your realtor for their referral of a mortgage lender. This will state the type of loan and payment amount that you qualify for, based on the information that you provided. The necessary basic documentation will include personal identification, tax information, proof of income, assets, debts, and credits. You’ll know just how much home you can afford and you’ll be able to shop with confidence.
Keep Track of The Homes You’ve Seen
More than likely, you will be looking at several homes before committing to just one and it can be easy to forget or confuse which homes had which features. Utilize your client portal or make notes on your likes and dislikes in things such as…
- Style of home
- Size of property
- Notes about the neighborhood
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Features: Garage, Pool, Appliances, etc.
- Distances from work, school, grocery store, shopping areas
This way, when it comes time for a decision, you can take the time to look at all of your notes and compare each home.
Pro tip: Make a note about how you feel in each home. At the end of the day, whichever property you choose will only make you happy if it feels like a home. Take some time to pause and envision your future in each house. Some Real Estate Professionals suggests taking a photo of yourself smiling in each home for you to see later.
Any significant leap in life is stressful, and buying a home might be one of the biggest leaps you’ll make. Regardless of the circumstances, you are moving for; you should still be able to relish the memories of your experience. It’s going to be overwhelming, and you’ll feel lost and want to pick a house just to get it over with. But envisioning your future in this home, and all the positive opportunities that could come from it will keep you from losing hope. Just take a step back and enjoy the process!