If you’re thinking about buying your first home, you need to take a close look at your monetary situation. Diligent financial planning will not only tell you whether you are ready to buy a home, but it will also ensure you’re prepared to make such a large purchase. The professionals at Brooks Reitzel Financial Planning Services can help first-time homebuyers in High Point, NC, assess their situation and prepare to make this major purchase.
4 Financial Planning Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
1. Decide Whether You’re Ready to Buy
The first step in the financial planning process for first-time buyers is to decide whether you’re ready to buy a home. If you’re currently renting, see whether you could save money as a homeowner. It’s important to factor in interest rates and consider what you can afford for your down payment. Speak with one of the financial planning experts at Brooks Reitzel Financial Planning Services to help you make this determination.
2. Evaluate Your Financial Standing
After you decide buying a home makes sense, evaluate your finances. This means getting a copy of your credit report and checking your credit score. Don’t pay for a copy of your credit report — you can obtain one free copy per year from each of the major reporting companies. Knowing exactly what is on your credit report will prepare you to answer any questions a loan officer might ask about late payments or other derogatory marks.
3. Determine How Much House You Can Afford
Once you know where your credit stands, you need to evaluate your monthly expenses, including other debt payments like credit cards, student loans, and auto loans. A loan officer or realtor can use your income, expenses, and credit rating to determine how much you might be approved for, which gives you a price range to keep in mind as you shop. There are also online calculators, like this one from CNN, that can give you the same information.
4. Pick Your Target Location
Once you know how much you can afford, it’s time to start shopping. Carefully select one or more areas where you would like to live. Keep in mind their proximity to your workplace and the type of commute you would have. It’s also important to look for neighborhoods with top-rated schools. While this is especially important if you have children, school ratings also significantly impact home values, so homeowners without children are affected as well.
When you’re ready to take those first steps toward buying a home, call on the professionals at Brooks Reitzel Financial Planning Services. They also offer estate planning and business financial services, so you can find everything you need no matter what stage of life you’re in. Visit their website to learn more, or call (336) 885-7900 to schedule a consultation.