Want to buy a home in 2020? Consider these six easy steps to ensure a smooth and successful purchase.
1. Check Your Credit
A good credit score is critical. A high credit score makes it easier to qualify for lower interest rates and offers more affordability. Be sure to check all three credit reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The right lender can often make quick and easy recommendations to raise your credit score those few extra essential points.
2. Save, Save, Save
You’ll need cash to buy a home, but saving goes beyond a down payment. The best interest rates often require a 20-25% down payment. Also, a lender will require up to six months of cash reserves in a liquid account. Lenders want to know you can afford the PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) during work transitions.
3. Get in Touch with a Lender
Take the time to interview a few lenders and learn about the different mortgage programs available. They change frequently and are competitive with other banks. Ultimately you want to work with a lender you trust and one who has invested the time to generate a pre-approval letter and not just a pre-qualification.
4. Look at Neighborhoods
In addition to getting your finances in order, take a look at different San Diego neighborhoods to decide where you want to live. Some factors to consider are commute times, school ratings, friends who live nearby, curb appeal, and local shopping and restaurants. Often, spending a few weekends driving around a community will provide clarity.
5. Visit Open Houses
Even if you aren’t planning on buying a house immediately, visit some open houses. Open houses allow you to explore neighborhood floor plans, learn about standard upgrades many homes may need, the importance of natural lights and yard sizes. Due diligence is just as necessary when searching for a home as the actual buying process.
6. Interview Real Estate Agents
If you’re buying a home, it pays to use a Realtor. In San Diego, the Seller pays all commissions. That’s right! As a Buyer, you pay no commission. A Buyer’s agent is your advocate and works with you every step of the transaction. Like any profession, take the time to interview a few different agents as it’s essential to work with someone you trust and has experience.
Are you planning on purchasing a home in 2020? I would love to chat and answer any questions about the above and the ideal next steps! (858) 735-5767