If you’re on the hunt for a new home in the new year you don’t have to wait for the ball to drop – you can start acting on your new year resolutions now to prep for one of the biggest purchases of your life! Here are some top tips if your goal for 2020 is to become a homeowner.
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- Pinch Those Pennies
Saving for a down payment on a new home is one of the most important parts of the homebuying process. It’s important to plan out your savings now if your goal is to purchase a new home in the future. The median sales price of a home in the U.S. is now $235,000 – you may need at least 20 percent as a down payment or close to $50,000.
- Check Your Credit
Make sure there are no surprises on your credit report. One of the first things your mortgage lender will do is check your credit to determine your debt-to-income ratio to determine how much of a mortgage loan you qualify for. According to credit-rating company Equifax, a score of 690 or higher is considered “good.” If your credit needs clean-up, start working on it now so that your score is up to par before you start the pre-qualification process.
- Lock in Your Pre-Approval
Sitting down with a mortgage lender now can save you time later. Securing pre-approval on a mortgage will usually lock in an interest rate for 90 days and allow you to focus on homes that are in your price range.
- Hold Off Hefty Purchases
Curb any shopping sprees you may have planned. Big purchases like a new car or a family vacation before buying a house can affect your debt-to-income ratio and can affect how much money a lender is willing to lend to you.