Supercharge your savings. You’ll need to save money for your down payment and closing costs and you’ll need to have some money in reserve after you buy. While there are many low-downpayment home loan options available, the more you can save now, the better.
Check your credit report and score. With all the security breaches that have occurred in the past year, it’s a good idea to check your credit report. For a free copy of your credit report, go to AnnualCreditReport.com. Each credit-reporting agency is required under federal law to provide consumers with one free credit report annually. Keep an eye out for any errors. For your credit score, go to MyFico.com. Your credit score is a three-digit number designed to reflect the quality of your credit.
Visit with a lender. Before you start your home search, you’ll want to get pre-approved for a home loan. That way, you’ll know how much home you can afford and you’ll be able to start making offers on homes in your price range. Once you have your financing lined up, it’s time to find a real estate agent who can help you find the best home for you and your family. It’s estimated that 88 percent of all buyers purchased their home through an agent. The advice and assistance of a knowledgeable real estate agent can be invaluable in the home-buying process.