Prep for Success: A Checklist for Buying a New Home

posted 9/23/2013 in General

As the home buying market begins to cool off with the weather, some of you may have the “we should’ve been more prepared this year” feeling if you were thinking about finding a new home.
If you're hoping to sign on the dotted line for a new home
next spring or summer, your work starts now!

However, there is some good news Lincoln Savings Bank wants to share with you: there are steps you can take right now to make sure you’re ready for next spring and summer’s housing rush. While these things may take awhile to get in place, you’ll have all fall and winter to make sure you’re prepared to buy a home come next spring or summer.
Check your credit report- you want to get a great mortgage rate, and a solid credit score is the easiest way to do that. Check for errors or marks against your credit and get them taken care of.
Save in every way imaginable- drop the HBO, Netflix, eating out and other unnecessary costs. The higher down payment you can make on your home, the more financing options you’ll have.
Find out how much home you can afford- the worst thing you can do is overextend yourself financially. Look at your debt-to-income ratio; if it’s over 36, you need to start reducing your debt immediately.
Get pre-approved- it may sound like this step will cost you time, but it’s actually a time-saver.  By knowing ahead of time how much money you are approved to borrow, you will save you and your real estate agent a lot of time looking at properties that may not fit your budget.  Visit www.lsbmortgage.com to learn more about mortgages and even apply online in just a few minutes.
Find a real estate agent- Your agent is your representative in helping you find a home, so having someone you trust is a huge bonus.
Keep assessing your financials and the housing market- there’s nothing wrong with staying current. You can order your FICO scores without hurting them, and keeping an eye on the national housing market is smart.

When it comes to buying a home, follow the adage of “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” The process is complex enough, so adding more difficulty just isn’t necessary. Lincoln Savings Bank would be more than happy to help you on your journey to finding a new home, so get in touch with us to get started.  
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