When you’re ready to buy a house, you should start talking to a lender and going to open houses… right? Not quite. There are a lot of reasons to do these kinds of things BEFORE you are ready to buy. Here’s what you should start doing NOW:
Talk to a Lender.
- Go over your credit report: Let your lender look over your credit report. All lenders are required to pull your credit and it is a huge factor in whether or not you can get a mortgage. Doing this earlier will allow you to ask questions, and your lender can often tell you what debts are hurting your borrowing power the most, and how to improve them. We also have some handy tips that you can reference right now to help your credit!
- Go over your income: Your loan officer can go over your income and tax returns on top of evaluating your credit. Doing this now allows them to give you an idea of what kind of down payment you can afford, what homes you could buy, and how much more you’d need to make or save – it’s an incredible tool to help guide your steps BEFORE you apply.
Go to an open house. Or two or three.
- Going to an open house even before you are ready to buy can help you hit the ground running when you’ve actually got the money to put an offer in. The thing is, going to an open house is like going on a first date – dating usually comes well before marriage, and before you’re even ready for it. Same with a house – going to an open house can help you get a feel not only for the neighborhoods and price ranges that will actually fit in your budget, but also with what you love and don’t love about a house.
- Watch the people! Getting to know agents is never a bad idea either. Going to an open house is an easy way to meet possible future agents that you actually like – without having to set up appointments and interview them. And watching other potential buyers can help you pick up on what they’ve already looked for and how fast you might have to move on an offer when you are ready.
It’s never too early to start getting ready before you buy! These are great ways to dip your toe in the house-shopping world without the pressure of needing to move or make a decision right away. We’ve only heard positive things from people who checked with lenders and bopped into open houses – and we hope this reminder can help you be prepared and comfortable when you’re ready to buy as well!
If you want to talk to a lender, we’d be pleased as punch if you’d start with us! We’re a Christian Mortgage Lender that values faith and family, so we think we’ll get along just fine. Looking forward to hearing from you – happy house hunting!
The Christian Mortgage Mom