Your credit report matters.
Even if you pay every bill you have ever owed on time and as agreed, it is a good idea to contact the credit bureaus and get a credit report. By law, each credit reporting agency must provide you with a free credit report on an annual basis. Take the time to review this report thoroughly and verify there are no inaccuracies. Keep in mind, your credit score can have an impact on your home mortgage rate.
Saving for more than a down payment.
Your down payment matters, but when you are saving money to purchase a home, there are other savings that should be considered. Closing costs, reserves and monies for potential home repairs (and emergency fund if you will) should be prepared. Understand that having your down payment in place means you are negotiating from a position of strength when you finally find the home you want to buy.
Budgeting for a new home.
Unlike rental properties, a home comes with additional expenses and potential problems. You won’t have a landlord to call upon if the furnace breaks down, the roof leaks or the water heater stops working. These repairs will now be your burden and the financial aspects of a repair can be overwhelming. There are other considerations including homeowner’s association dues, taxes and insurance and other costs of ownership that should be taken into consideration when crafting your new budget.
Research, review and question.
Make sure you are making your decisions based on facts. Check out the neighborhood demographics, learn about what makes a great home based on not only what the house looks like inside but how much “curb appeal” the property has. Keep in mind, most of us do not buy only one home in our lifetime; you want to be able to present a positive front when you consider selling. All contracts should be thoroughly reviewed and any portions you are not comfortable with should be questioned.
Make smart borrowing decisions. When shopping for a home mortgage, it is important to make smart decisions. Generally, it is never a good idea to accept the first mortgage offer; instead, verify mortgage rates, see if there are deals available and work with a lender you can trust. Remember, your existing banking relationships matter as well. Those who do their banking with Oklahoma Central Credit Union should apply for preapproval or contact a Member Financial Representative at 918-664-6000, option 8, and talk about the various loan programs we offer.
Getting prepared to shop for a home means planning not only for a down payment and reserves, it also involves making sure you are financially prepared for the expenses that accompany home ownership. Contact Oklahoma Central Credit Union today to see how we can help you achieve your financial goals.