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How to Become a Homeowner in 2019

Charles Cherney

Passionate about teaching after graduating from Harvard, I ultimately found myself drawn into the world of real estate in Cambridge and Somerville...

Passionate about teaching after graduating from Harvard, I ultimately found myself drawn into the world of real estate in Cambridge and Somerville...

Jan 8 4 minutes read

2019 Could Be Your Year!

If you’ve been quietly dreaming of becoming a first-time homeowner or of buying your next place, then now is the time to plan in order to be successful in achieving your real estate goals this year. Hare are five key steps to take now.

Are You Seeing Green?

Simply put, having a high credit score will help you secure a loan with the best terms available. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are the three major credit agencies. It is possible your score might vary slightly with each one. Generally, it will be in the same range. Many credit card companies provide you with access to at least one of your credit scores, so if your card offers that service, it would be an excellent place to start. If you find that your credit score needs some help, the easiest way to boost it is to pay your bills on time, keep your balances low, and refrain from opening multiple unnecessary lines of credit at once. Let your credit be a catalyst in your homeownership journey.

Crunch the Numbers

Being realistic about what you can afford in the beginning will save you a lot of trouble down the road. Using a mortgage calculator is helpful but can also be deceiving, since most calculators do not account for taxes, insurance, maintenance or even utilities. Chances are your true mortgage payment will be more expensive than what the calculator says it will be. Do not use the cost of the home as your ONLY baseline for a budget or you will be seriously disappointed and overwhelmed. Always be conservative with your numbers, so that you don’t have to sacrifice and stress.

Save and Save Some More

This one is a no-brainer. When buying a home, you have to consider the downpayment, closing costs, inspections if applicable, insurance and any immediate repairs you are responsible for. Closing costs can run anywhere between 3-5% of the total cost of the home, and if you aren’t prepared for them, they can come as a shock. When you think you have just enough money, save a little more so you have a cushion when you encounter unexpected expenses. Also, big purchases such as new cars, furniture and vacations should all be put on the back burner until you close on your home. Large purchases could drain your savings account and prevent you from securing a loan.

Get Pre-approved

Getting pre-approved is really the first big step in the actual journey of buying a home. The lender will require a lot of information from you such as previous W2’s, several months worth of bank statements, investment account information, pay stubs and tax documents. It will seem like a never-ending list of requests and SUCH a drag but once you turn all of the information in and you get approved, you’re ready to start seeing homes with your agent!

Choose the Right Team

Do we still have your attention? Good! We love the fun parts of buying a home (showings, picking out furniture, paint colors etc) but we know it isn’t always a perfect experience. There can certainly be some stressful and confusing parts during the process. That’s why it’s always a good idea to work with a real estate agent you trust to get the job done correctly and someone who will work in your best interest. A good agent will stay one step ahead and be able to give you advice about what to expect. The Charles Cherney Team at Compass is here to help you! Contact us today!

If you’ve been working on your credit and bulking up your savings account for a while, then 2019 truly is your year to reach your real estate goals. This to-do list of sorts may not be the most glamorous. However, if you follow these steps, you’ll be on your way to buying a home in no time.

Want to know more about the buying process?

See our 3-Step Process

Have a home you need to sell before you buy?

Get your home's value

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