Let’s face it, buying a home can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! With a great lender on your side, you can rest assured that you’ll have someone guiding you through the process from start to finish. Still, certain things require action on your part to successfully purchase a home! Below, we’ll highlight some of the biggest mistakes prospective homebuyers make and how to avoid them.
#1 Not getting pre-qualified before starting the home search.
One of the most important things to do before getting invested in the home search is to get pre-qualified with a lender. This will help you determine how much you can afford and if you need to work on your credit before you dive into your home search. This will give you a realistic view of the type of home that will fit your budget so you don’t fall in love with a house that isn’t affordable.
#2 Making credit changes right before buying a home.
Things like taking out a new line of credit or making large purchases on a credit card are big no-no’s when preparing to buy a home. Your lender will pull your credit at the beginning of the mortgage process and then again just before closing, and they do not want to see anything significant that could negatively impact your approval odds. Building credit before buying is important, but once you are in the process, try to avoid putting purchases on credit and avoid large expenditures, in general.
#3 Not paying bills on time.
A significant factor affecting your credit score is making timely payments of your debts. Any late payments will tarnish your credit score, so it’s important to keep track of due dates. If you’re able to, set up auto-payment to ensure nothing slips through the cracks!
#4 Making big changes.
It’s a good idea to avoid any big changes or purchases (as mentioned above!) if you’re in the process of buying a house. Now is not the time to change jobs if you’re house hunting, as your lender will want to see a steady employment history. Avoid planning big trips and making big purchases, such as a vehicle. The goal is to stay consistent as you navigate the home buying process.
#5 Stretching your budget too thin.
Even if you’re pre-qualified for a certain amount, you should still consider what you’re comfortable paying for a monthly mortgage payment. Maxing out your budget isn’t always the best move, especially if you have other financial priorities, such as saving for college, paying down debt or needing to buy a new car soon. Choose a home that meets your needs but has a monthly payment that fits within your financial goals!
Yes, there are certainly mistakes that can be made when diving into the mortgage process, but with a bit of patience and willingness to listen to the advice of your lender, you’ll be well on your way to a successful homebuying experience.
At C&F Mortgage, we’re there for you every step of the way. From sharing tips to build your credit to helping you choose the best mortgage program for your needs, our team of local industry experts will guide you through the mortgage process from start to finish. Get in touch with us today to get started!