Your upstairs neighbor seems to walk in iron shoes. The couple next door loves to argue at 2am.  And your landlord refuses to fix your thermostat, keeping your apartment at 60 degrees all winter long. Just as you’re signing your check for next month’s rent, you start asking yourself if you can handle one more month of your neighbor’s toddler screaming her ABCs.

Before you jump the gun and turn in your notice, read through this list of tips for first-time home buyers and see if you’re prepared to take the first step into home ownership:

  1. How is your credit?  Your credit score is important because it tells financial institutions what kind of borrower you will be. A high credit score is a sign of financial responsibility and allows you to get the best possible rate for your home loan. Take the time to look at your credit score and rectify any errors that you see. And if your credit is on the low side, start taking the steps to repair it.
  2. How much home can you afford? We all tend to dream big rather than realistically, so taking the time to see how much home you can actually afford could be a major eye-opener. If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, you might have a hard time coming up with funds for home maintenance and repair, especially in the case of an emergency. Take a look at your incoming and outgoing expenses and track your monthly spending to ensure that you don’t get in over your head.
  3. Do you have proof of income? Lenders need to see how much money you earn, so make sure you have proof of income, such as recent pay stubs, W-2s, and tax returns. If you are self-employed, you may have a harder time securing a loan, so make sure you have access to two years’ worth of earning history to present to your mortgage lender.
  4. Start interviewing realtors. Partnering with an experienced real estate agent will ease the process of first-time home buying. Not only will you have an expert on your side to help walk you through the process, but your realtor will always look out for your best interest. Choose a realtor with experience in the type of home you are interested in purchasing, and always ask for references.

Thinking about purchasing a home in the Smith Mountain Lake or Roanoke area? Contact me today and let’s get started.

 -Source: 5 Essential Money Moves for First-Time Homebuyers,