You may not be ready to buy your first home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare now. Here are three actions you can do while renting that will put you in a better position when you’re ready to buy.
Take a homeowner’s budget for a test drive. While you can’t predict all homeownership costs to the last penny, you can come up with a rough estimate of how owning a home will affect your budget. A REALTOR® can help you figure out how much you can afford, the potential mortgage payment you’d make, your local property taxes, and repair costs you might want to consider as a homeowner.
Check your credit report. Before you apply for a loan, request a free credit report to find out what a lender would see. If your report has errors, you can correct them before they affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan. And you might be able to take steps to improve your credit before purchasing a property. Your REALTOR® may be able to help you find resources to repair your credit.
Create a realistic wish list. There’s probably not a home that will offer every single amenity you desire, but you should have a general idea of what you’re looking for. So while a home with fewer than two bathrooms may be non-negotiable, perhaps you’d see the potential in one with a smaller kitchen or a not-so-appealing exterior paint job.
It’s never too early to talk to a REALTOR® when you know you’re going to buy a home. A REALTOR® can answer your questions about the homebuying process and help you avoid surprises along the way.