2017 is the year many people have decided to become homeowners.  Right now is the perfect time to start preparing for your real estate endeavor.  Before the spring real estate season gets on its way it is time to take the necessary steps to make your house hunt successful.

Credit Report:  In order to purchase a house most first time home buyers will need to take out a mortgage.  In order to qualify for a mortgage you will need a decent credit score.  Now is the time to check out your credit report.  Home loan lenders use your credit score to set mortgage terms and interest rates.  It is crucial that an accurate report of your financial history is received when lenders are looking at your most recent credit report.  If there are errors this gives you time to fix the issues before you need to apply for your first home loan.

Budget:  This is a crucial step in buying your first home.  Many times lenders will pre-approve you for a home loan that is way over what you will feel comfortable spending each month.  Create a budget that accurately represents the amount of money you have coming in and going out each month.  The rule of thumb is to not spend more than thirty percent of your take home income on a mortgage payment.  This monthly payment should include both taxes and insurance.  An online calculator can help while you are going over your budget.  Online mortgage calculators can help you to determine how much house you can actually afford.

Down payment: Having a down payment is important.  Hopefully you have been stocking money aside to put towards the purchase of your first home for a while now.  If you have been saving for a down payment in a number of places now is the time to consolidate those funds.  Put these funds into one savings account at least three months prior to buying your first home.  This is beneficial as your mortgage lender will not need to track down where all of the money originated from.

Needs/Wants:  Once you have determined how much you have to put down as a down payment and know how much you can afford in a home it is important to create a master list of needs and wants out of a home.  Some features in a home are negotiable while others aren’t.  It is important to lay out what you need out of a home.  Consider the following things: location, schools, commute time, nearby amenities and housing features such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and more.  Would you rather have a home that is in need of some work or one that is move in ready?  Having a list in place will make it much easier for both you and your real estate agent narrow down the selection of homes to view as you begin your search.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.