Many people find it useful to have a checklist, and on any good checklist these 2 items should be the first items on that list. They are essential to getting the ball rolling on your dream of home ownership.
The 2 major items a potential home shopper needs to begin to think about before contacting a realtor is to:
- Determine how your credit looks. Luckily, in this computer age, there are many ways for us to easily and quickly check our credit credit scores. There are multiple sites out there to check your credit for free. Two that we like are www.freecreditreport.com and www.annualcreditreport.com. Using other sites, such as CreditKarma, while beneficial to show you what is on your report, won’t give you an accurate credit score. They utilize a different scoring model than the one that lenders use. If you have a credit score below 640 you may want to dive deeper into your report to see if there are opportunities to increase that score. Ways to that would be by dispute errors if there are any with the credit bureaus, make sure you are current with all monthly payments, and reduce debt on revolving accounts where possible. Our mortgage specialists can review your credit and advise you of ways to improve your credit, if necessary.
- Get a pre-approval from a mortgage professional. Once you know about your credit you should contact a mortgage professional and work on a pre-approval. But don’t just pick any mortgage professional as they are not all created equal. Do your research so that you can feel confident that the person you pick is knowledgeable and will take care of you as if they were buying their own home. Working with a local lender, who knows the local market and has experience working with realtors directly, will help the transaction go smoothly. Happy shopping!!!