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Buying a home in 10 steps February 15, Start with your credit. Credit reports are kept by the three major credit agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. They show whether you are habitually late with payments and whether you have run into serious credit problems in the past.
A credit score is a number calculated from a formula created by Fair Isaac based on the information in your credit report. A low credit score may hurt your chances for getting the best interest rate, or getting financing at all. So get a copy of your reports and know your credit scores.
You can get a free copy of your credit report from each agency every 12 months. You can request a copy Buying a new home. Errors are common on the reports. If you find any, contact the agencies directly to correct them, which can take two or three months to resolve.
If the report is accurate but shows past problems, be prepared to explain them to a loan officer. Next, you need to determine how much house you can afford. You can start with an online calculator.
For a more accurate figure, ask to be pre-approved by a lender, who will look at your income, debt and credit to determine a loan you can afford. The rule of thumb is to aim for a home that costs about two-and-a-half times your gross annual salary.
If you have significant credit card debt or other financial obligations like alimony or even an expensive hobby, then you may need to set your sights lower.
Another general rule of thumb: The size of your down payment will also determine how much you can afford. If you can put down more than that, the lender may be willing to approve a larger loan.
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Various private and public agencies -- including Fannie MaeFreddie Macthe Federal Housing Administrationand the Department of Veterans Affairs -- provide low down payment mortgages through banks and mortgage companies. PMI adds about 0. Check on whether your employer can help; some big companies will chip in on the down payment or help you get a low-interest loan from selected lenders.
You can also tap a k or similar retirement plan for a loan from yourself. Most sellers list their homes through an agent -- but those agents work for the seller, not you. You need an "exclusive buyer agent.
Search for a home. Your first step here is to figure out what city or neighborhood you want to live in. Look for signs of economic vitality: Try also to get an idea about the real estate market in the area. For example, if homes are selling close to or even above the asking price, that shows the area is desirable.You're in the final stretch of buying your new home, but there are still a few speed bumps that may lie in your path.
Here's how you can swerve July 13, The choice between buying a home and renting one is among the biggest financial decisions that many adults make. But the costs of buying are more varied and complicated than for renting, making it. Look up your local water system to find out which pollutants might be of concern, and find suggestions on the best kinds of home filters to remove those chemicals.
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