Home Buyer Tips: Preparing to Buy Your First Home

Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to make the leap from a renter to a home buyer! This time in your life can be exciting - and for good reason. Owning a piece of Highland Park real estate is one of the best financial decisions you can make.

In order to ensure that the process of purchasing your first home goes smoothly, and that you are prepared - both financially and mentally - for the process, there are a few steps you should take before attending your first open house:

  1. Contact a lender - Ask friends, family or your real estate agent for referrals, and research the interest rates for lenders in your area. Once you have chosen a lender, you can then begin by researching your options. This usually includes getting a copy of your credit report and clearing up any problems.

A lender will then help you figure out how much money you can afford to spend on a home. They will ask for information regarding your income, debts and savings, and will use this information to give you a clear idea regarding on how much home you can afford.

  1. Once your finances are in order, a lender will then “pre-approve” you for a mortgage. This will allow you to search for homes in your price range, and will also give you leverage with the seller when submitting an offer for a home. In other words, if two offers are submitted, and one buyer has been preapproved, they will likely accept this offer over one that does not have a preapproval letter from their lender.
  2. Narrow down your choices. Decide what you want in a home and then focus on homes which meet those criteria. Looking at homes which are either out of your price range or do not meet your criteria will simply exhaust you and prolong the process of finding your perfect home.
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