The home buying process can be an emotional and stressful one, but if you do your research, it’s bound to go more smoothly. Here are some steps to take before you start shopping to help you figure out where you stand as a potential home buyer.
1. Confirm If You Should Rent or Buy
The amount of time you plan to stay in an area, the amount of money you have saved for a down payment, and job stability are all important factors to consider when deciding if it’s time to buy your own home. Start crunching the numbers and you may be surprised to find you’ll save money buying instead of renting, or you may discover you need a bigger nest egg before putting money down.
2. Identify Your Wants and Needs
Not only is purchasing a home one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, but it’s also one of the biggest ones you will – literally – have to live with. That’s why it’s important to think through your wants and needs before you even start looking.
- Bay Federal created this checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything.
3. Determine How Much You Can Actually Afford
The home buying process is a tricky one, and you may be able to qualify for more than you can actually afford. It’s always a smart idea to plan ahead and evaluate monthly expenditures, as well as yearly, biannual, and unexpected expenses.
4. Know Your Credit Score
While Bay Federal offers competitive rates, your credit score can still affect your home loan’s interest rate. Credit scores range from 300-850, and the higher your credit score, the lower interest rate you will benefit from.
- Excellent credit is 740 and above.
- Good credit ranges from 680-740.
- Acceptable credit ranges from 620-680.
- Credit ranges from >540 – 620 may not be eligible for a home loan, yet. Do not be discouraged! See tips for building or repairing credit to get started on making a positive impact on your credit score.
You can check your credit without it impacting your score once per year at annualcreditreport.com.
How to Build or Repair Your Credit
If you have some work ahead of you, Bay Federal partners with Balance to provide members with free financial counseling and resources. Visit Balance to learn how to improve your credit.
5. Find the Home Loan That Is Right for You
Bay Federal’s Home Loan Consultants are great resources for determining which mortgage solution is best for you, including Jumbo Loans, first mortgages, manufactured home loans, and more. Call to discuss your options today 831.479.6000 or 888.4BAYFED, option 4.
- Just browsing? Bay Federal has detailed information for members about the different types of loans we offer.
6. Apply for Pre-Qualification
Most sellers will only take your offer seriously if you have documentation from a lender, so applying is incredibly important. When you apply, you submit documents and undergo a credit check. Our underwriters then determine your loan eligibility and how much you would qualify for.
Applying will give your real estate agent an understanding of your spending power. You may apply online with Bay Federal, or with one of our Home Loan Consultants, who can be reached at 831.479.6000 or 888.4BAYFED, extension 304.