Owning a home is the American dream — or so we've been told. It's something that many of us aspire to, but not many can achieve. Housing costs continue to rise, making homeownership challenging for most people.
In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest statistics, only about 64% of Americans own their own home.
The balance rent and live with family or friends instead. If you're ready to take that next step and become a homeowner, here are some things you should know first.
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Know Your Options Before You Buy
You’ll want to start by deciding whether you should buy or rent.
Picture by Pabitra Kaity on Pixabay
While each situation is different, it’s important to consider a few factors before making a decision:
- Credit Score
- Current Location
All can play a role in renting vs. buying.
Research The Area You Want To Buy
When you’re ready to start looking for houses, it’s important to research the area you want to buy in.
One of the most important things is to look at the area’s crime rate. While you can’t predict the future, you can use the crime statistics for the past year to get an idea of how safe the area may be.
You should also look at the schools in the area and see how they rate. Consider work commute times and other factors that are important to you.
Once you’ve chosen an area, you’ll want to determine the real estate values. You can search online for information about the area you want to buy. It’s also a good idea to talk to a real estate agent who can help you get an idea of the prices in the area.
Check Your Credit
Before you start looking for a house, you’ll want to check your credit score to see where you stand.
While your credit score isn’t the only thing that matters, it certainly plays a significant role in the home buying process. If you have bad credit, you may have difficulty finding a lender who will approve you for a mortgage.
Once you’ve checked your credit score, you should know where you stand. If your credit score is low, you may want to consider improving it before you start looking for a house.
Knowing When To Hire A Professional
Hiring a mortgage broker will be the best option if you’re buying a brand-new home that hasn’t been built yet.
A mortgage broker can help you find a lender, help you decide on the best loan for your situation, and ensure you have everything you need to get the home of your dreams. If you’ve decided on buying a house but are unsure where to start, you should know a few things before becoming a homeowner.
When buying a home, even the small details are pertinent. Getting the specifics on crawl space waterproofing, sewer conditions, water line repair, and other home improvements will keep you informed on expected expenses.
Be sure that the home you buy does not come with unexpected costs.
Owning a home is a big step, and it’s something that should be prepared for.
To ensure that you get the right home for you, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and what you can afford.
Once you’ve decided that now is the time to buy a house, start researching the area you want to buy in, check your credit, and look for the perfect home.
This is a contributed post.
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