So you’re super excited because you finally saved up enough money to put a down-payment on your very first home. Kudos! You worked long and hard (and avoided expensive Starbucks drinks) to save up for that downpayment, so the last thing we want you to do is jeopardize it by making some common rookie mistakes. So here are some common blunders to avoid—and useful tips that could mean the difference between financial security and a heaping pile of debt.
(Incidentally, a simple call to our office will help you avoid all of these and more!)
1. Not checking your credit report and score
Your credit is your financial lifeline; it is really the difference between breathing and asphyxiating. Knowing your credit score and how to boost it is key to making any major purchase, but especially a home. Generally speaking, a good credit score is a little over 700. Federal law allows citizens to request one free credit report a year, but that doesn’t include the score.
2. Not Getting Pre-Approved For A Loan
Once you have a clear idea of your credit, the next step is to find a qualified lender to assess how much you can afford. Getting pre-approved can help you save time by looking for homes that you know you can afford, as opposed to wasting time on something that’s totally out of your price range.
3. Overlooking Hidden Costs
Buying a home is the cost that keeps on giving; you’re never really out of the woods. Just because you factored in the cost of the home doesn’t mean you’re done yet. There are a whole host of hidden costs, including property taxes. And since we all know New Jersey is notorious for high property taxes, you’ll want to check the tax rate or the county in which you’re purchasing your home. You can find that out by visiting the NJ Division of Taxation website.
And as always, we’re here should you have any questions at all about buying a home…it’s what we love to do!