There are many benefits to owning your home vs. renting but purchasing your first home can be intimidating. The good news is there are several easy things you can do to prepare in advance to make your home buying experience much smoother.
- Know your credit history. It is a good idea to review your credit report prior to applying for a mortgage loan. You can go to www.annualcreditreport.com and request a copy of your report to review for accuracy.
- Get Pre-Approved. Talk to a loan officer to find out how much you qualify for before you start looking for homes. It’s a heartache waiting to happen to fall in love with a house and then find out you don’t qualify for a loan large enough to purchase it. You can also apply for a pre-approval at no cost to provide a comfort level before you make an offer on a home. Many realtors require you to be pre-approved before they will show you homes.
- Find a Realtor. A good real estate agent can be invaluable in helping you find a home and write the contract. If you don’t know yet who you are going to use as a realtor, you should consider the Home Advantage team with ITCU for help in finding a realtor, finding homes you want to view, and researching neighborhoods. You can even receive a cash award after your loan closes in the form of a realtor rebate.
- Request a Home Inspection. Your realtor will help you write this into your offer. This gives you an “out” from the purchase in case the home has any serious structural issues or other costly repairs that need to be made.
- Attend a Home-Buyers Seminar. Investing an hour or so of your time attending in-person or online to a home-buying seminar can provide you with valuable information to assist you in your purchase! (Be sure to watch the ITCU.org website for news on an upcoming Member First Mortgage webinar scheduled for spring 2021!)