Buying a home for the first time can be overwhelming, but the real estate pros at the Equifax Finance blog have put together some tips for first time buyers to avoid common mistakes in the process in the recent article, “
Know Your Credit Score – Unless you have the ability to pay for your home with cash, you’ll need a home mortgage. And if your score is low, you could have a very hard time getting financed, if you get financed at all. Knowing your score early on will tell you whether or not you have the financial standing to get approved for financing. If you don’t know what your credit looks like, check your credit before considering a home purchase. You can check your score for free three times per year with the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and Transunion). Even if you’re not considering a home purchase for more than a year, it’s still a good idea to check your credit now. If there are errors, that will give you time to correct them. If your credit is good, keep it that way by paying off your bills on time.
Get prequalified – Getting prequalified will let you know how much home you can afford and will set you apart from other buyers who are only looking or who may not be able to get financing.
Know home prices – Knowing home prices and values in your area will give you the perspective you need to know what you can expect to get for what you can afford. Sales prices on homes in your area can be found online, but it will be helpful to get recent sales figures from your agent, who can also help give you some perspective on prices and values in your area.
Put together the right team – Assemble a team that has your best interest at heart, one that you trust and feel confident with. Buying a home is likely the biggest financial decision you have ever made, so you need an agent that you really feel comfortable working with. The best way to find this person is to get recommendations from friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc., for an agent that is knowledgeable about your area, experienced, trustworthy, and one that you relate well to. It’s hard to find someone like that online. Then, meet with him or her in person before selecting him or her as your agent.
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