Something that has been trending in the pandemic is homeownership. Credit it to the low prices seen throughout the United States, owning a home—more specifically a first home, has become top of mind for many people in America.
With increased downtime, and the desire for escapism, more and more people have been encouraged to research how to buy a home and become confident that they can create a plan to do so. In fact, 73% of men are looking to own a home in the next 4 years. They are building budgets, reducing debt, and taking on extra jobs to make this happen.
They see homeownership as an investment not only for themselves, but for their future family. Most men feel capable of managing their own finances, but some do have concerns of the financial uncertainty that the pandemic has brought—especially when you think about unexpected costs and hidden repairs associated with buying a home.
Of course, there is something to be said in doing the due diligence to understand all the financial hoopla and terms. Whether it’s having enough space and storage, rooms, amenities, appliances, location, school districts—it’s important to assess what matters to you in the long run. Below are 3 key takeaways to access before purchasing your first home.
Make sure your budget aligns with reality
Getting into your new house is, of course, priority, but making sure you have the budget takes precedence. Make sure you have enough money for the down payment, closing costs, appraisal costs, initial escrow payment, monthly mortgage payment, and other important factors.
Remember, every situation is different, and you might not know what’s coming next. So, it’s better to be over prepared. And if you’re completely lost in it all, speak with a mortgage professional or a trusted banker early on to figure out a plan to cover all the main items.
Strengthen your credit early
Your credit score will greatly determine whether you qualify for a mortgage and impact the interest rate lenders will offer. Make sure you are aware of what your score is by getting copies of your report from each of the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Make sure you also dispute any errors that could potentially hurt your score.
Secondly, pay all your bills on time, and keep credit card balances as low as possible. Next, keep current credit cards open. Shockingly, closing a card will increase the portion of available credit you use—ultimately lowering your score.
Consider a first-time home buyers program
Fortunately, many states and cities offer first-time home buyers program that grant low interest rates, mortgages with down payment assistance, and closing cost assistance. Of course, depending on where you live, it might not be a large amount of help, but any small bit will pay off in the end!
While you stack, you can still make your current place feel different by styling your art and hitting up some new home trends.