Look online and you'll find that the most popular New Year's resolutions are to lose weight, get organized and spend less/save more. If you're thinking of buying a home in 2015, we hope you'll add the following 4 resolutions to your list:
- Take stock of your finances. Credit is key to getting a mortgage and your interest rate. If it's been more than a year, find out what your credit score is. You can improve your credit by paying your bills on time, working with a no-fees housing counselor, and taking our free CreditSmart online training.
Determine the amount you have for a downpayment. If you're short, try reducing optional expenses at the start of the year and set up a monthly, automatic deposit into your savings account.
- Figure out how much you can afford. Make a budget and use tools like our How Much Can You Afford Calculator.
- Explore your mortgage options and get the facts. Don't assume you don't have enough for a downpayment or won't qualify for a mortgage. Find out if you're eligible for any local or state downpayment assistance programs. Remember, downpayment options may be as low as 3%. But keep in mind that if you're not putting at least 20% down, you'll pay extra each month for mortgage insurance. Contact several mortgage lenders to shop around and get the best deal.
- Get pre-approved for financing. That way you'll be ready to make an offer once you find the home you want.
Visit About Homeownership for the resources you need to get started.
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