The Small Stuff – If you think getting pre-approved for a home is the first step, think again. An even better first step before even getting pre-approved is to pay off any small debt. Chances are if you are a millennial you also have student loans, but you shouldn’t worry about those as much as credit card debt and/or car payments and any other monthly bills. Also, make sure you pay them on time.
The Budget – This one speaks for itself. Once you’ve paid off your smaller debt you can take a better look what you can afford (make sure to be realistic). There are many great budget apps and affordability calculators online to help you. Remember one of the best ways to reach a goal is to write it down. If you need some tips and tricks on how to save for a down payment quickly and easily, take a visit to my previous blog http://thehouse4u.ca/blog/7-creative-ways/ for 7 creative ways to save for a down payment.
Save, Save, Save – This is one of, if not the most important step. If you haven’t already started, once you are thinking about purchasing a new home you should start saving right away. You will not only need to save money for a down payment but also, closing costs, inspections, any surprise expenses along the way and it’s always a good idea to have an emergency fund set aside.
Get Pre-Approved – Apply for pre-approval for a home loan so you have an idea of how much you can afford. Keep in mind that just because you have been approved for $250,000 doesn’t mean you have to look at houses that are listed at this price. This will put you at a greater financial risk and you don’t want to set your heart on houses that are out of your price range when it comes time to finally get the loan.
Hire a Realtor – It’s important to have someone on your side to give unbiased advice and someone to negotiate with the Sellers and the bank and have a professional guide you through the entire process.
Location – The actual house shouldn’t be the only aspect you are considering when buying. Location is also very important. Do you want to be close to work, schools, grocery stores or recreational facilities? Make sure to not only think about what kind of location you need right now but also what you may need in the future as well.
The home buying process will be different for everyone and a realtor is the best way to get unbiased professional advice. Owning a home is hard work but a very rewarding experience and I hope these tips help you in getting prepared to become a home owner!