By: Maria Wallace
Buying a home can be a long and difficult process for some, but with preparation and planning, the process can be a rewarding and successful one. Home-buying is one of the largest and most important financial decisions you will make for both you and your family, making careful planning vital in achieving successful home ownership. Maria Wallace, award-winning realtor and real estate expert, shares the most important steps to take in preparing yourself to buy a home.
Check Your Credit Report – An important first step toward home-buying. Ideally, this should be done six months in advance to allow time to dispute information (if needed). Consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report from each of the nationwide consumer reporting agencies once a year by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Review all information and look for any inaccurate and incomplete reported information. If you find any information incomplete or inaccurate, contact the lender or creditor associated with the account. You can also contact the nationwide consumer reporting agency that issued the credit report.
Gather Any Required Documents Needed to Apply for a Mortgage – Be sure to have your important financial documents accessible to provide when applying for a mortgage. Tax returns, pay stubs and bank statements are among the documents that will be requested when applying.
- Determine How Much Home You Can Afford – A home’s purchase price is only part of the picture. You may also be responsible for a down payment, closing costs, taxes and insurance among other expenses.
- Learn your debt-to-income ratio – Familiarize yourself with the requirements for loan qualification. There are a number of online mortgage calculators that can help determine what you are able to afford.
Following these steps will make your home-buying process much more rewarding and allow you to focus on finding the perfect home!
Maria Wallace is an award-winning realtor licensed in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Currently a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Maryland Association of Realtors (MAR), and Prince Georges County Association of Realtors (PGCAR), she has advanced her real estate education earning the Accredited Buyers Representatives (ABR), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CPDE), and Luxury Marketing Home Specialist / Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) designations in study. Maria has worked with some of the industry’s top agents and coaches to enhance her understanding of the market and all aspects of real estate. She truly understands the dynamics of the real estate market and is an expert at educating her clients towards making the best decisions for their home-buying needs.