Buying a home requires a lot of work. Typically the process is long and laborious, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be intimidating. For the next week, let Inspection Tech take some of the intimidation factor out of the equation with some great step by step suggestions to get you into your new home feeling confident & prepared! GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER The first thing you want to do once you decide to buy a home is to organize your finances, check your credit score, and make sure you look like a good candidate for a mortgage. This should be done prior to starting your search, because it’s in your best interest to approach the process with a strong financial background–purchasing a house is a major expense that will affect your finances for many years to come. The more prepared you are for such an investment, the more smoothly it will go. SHOP AROUND FOR A MORTGAGE We know it sounds backwards, but you want to figure out your price range before you start shopping around for a home, and you can’t do that until you are able to accurately estimate your loan. One way to figure out what type of mortgage will work best for you is by getting pre-approved or prequalified for a loan. Pre-approval or pre-qualification will: Give you an estimate of what type of loan you qualify for Help you determine what your monthly mortgage payments will be Allow you to better calculate your home-buying budget FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD Once you’ve found a mortgage plan that fits–or at least have a better idea of what type of loan you can afford–you should calculate your budget. You should figure out your budget only after you have your finances organized and know that now is a good time for you to purchase. You also want to estimate your costs on the higher side to make sure you’re fully prepared to buy a home. The best way to figure out your budget is by adding up estimates of all the costs related to your new home. These costs typically include: Down payment for mortgage Closing costs Property taxes Insurance Maintenance costs Homeowners association fees Inspection and application fees Regular mortgage payments Stay tuned for some more great suggestions for making the home buying process a breeze!