It’s November, almost December, no one wants to move during the holidays right? But maybe next spring? Are you thinking about buying a home next year? If so, make sure you are ready to go. Get your finances in order now, so that when you are ready to buy there won’t be anything stopping you!
First of all, check your credit report. Is there anything on there that is wrong? Do you have any collections that have not been paid? Are there accounts that are reporting wrong? You can get a copy of your credit report free once a year from www.annualcreditreport.com. This gives you a chance to look for any debt that isn’t showing as paid in full or any other errors on your credit report. Now you have time to get the credit bureaus to correct the information.
Next look at your debt. Do you have credit cards that are carrying balances? Is there any high interest loans that you may want to pay off? Make sure you are paying your required minimum payments every month on your credit cards. Late payments can hurt your credit score. If you have credit card debt that is near the maximum available on that card, you may want to work on paying it down. Credit card utilization is important in credit scores. The more available credit you have, the better. Do not close credit cards – you can pay them off and not use the cards, that can help your score. If you have older trade lines, as in a credit card you have had for many years, don’t close it. The longer the credit history, the better.
Make sure you are putting away money for your down payment, but try to avoid depositing cash into your bank account. We need to verify funds used for your new home and we never know where “cash” came from! If you are a first time homebuyer, there may be some programs that you can use for down payment assistance. You don’t need 20% down – you can buy with as little as 3% down!
Once you are ready to buy, give us a call to get qualified and start your search! If you aren’t sure if you are ready, call us and we can talk about what else you may need to do to get approved. Next year will be here before you know it!