Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases and decisions you will make. Jumping in without doing your homework and preparing can cost you money. Go over this check list to make sure you are getting the home you want and can afford.

  • Check your credit report – Know what your credit score is and look at your report closely. Look to see if there are any discrepancies that you can get erased or can easily fix. Less than perfect credit can affect your purchasing power.
  • Know your budget – Know what you have saved for a down payment and what you can afford per month on a mortgage payment. Don’t forget to add in insurance costs to the monthly bill.
  • Get pre-qualified – Getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage can make the home buying experience much more pleasant and less stressful.
  • Find a neighborhood – Look closely at the area or neighborhood where you want to live. Check out schools, jobs, crime rate, roadways, recreation, retail and businesses.
  • Find an agent – Find an agent who knows about the area you want to live in. They will know where to start looking for your new home.
  • Check out homes – Look around the area yourself, through the local classifieds, and on the internet for homes in your price range.
  • Make an offer – Make an offer and put it in writing when you find a home. Agree on all terms before going to the bank.
  • Inspect the home – Have a professional home inspector go through the home before making the purchase. Make sure you are there to talk about anything that may be questionable. Agree with the seller on who will take care of the repairs and how it will affect the selling price.
  • Make sure you are satisfied – Take a little time going through the home before buying. Make sure you are positive this is the home you want and are happy about the price.
  • Go to the bank – Bring all paperwork on the home, including inspection documents, to the bank. Start the loan process.