10 Things You Need To Do To Buy A House In 2019

Dated: 12/17/2018

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1. Check Your Credit Score

If you are planning on buying a home in 2019 the first thing you would want to do is check your credit score. Your credit score is one of the biggest factors in determining if you can qualify for a loan or not.  There are different  loan programs and they have different credit score requirements. FHA or VA loans typically require at least a 580 credit score while a Conventional loan is usually a 620 credit score.  If you were thinking about qualifying for down payment assistance you may need a 640 credit score.

2. Improve Your Credit Score

Now that you know what your credit score is, it’s time to clean up your credit and improve your scores.  This can be done in a few different ways depending on your unique credit situation.  If you have incorrect items negatively affecting your credit then you can work with a credit repair company to get those items removed from your credit report.  Additionally, things like keeping the balance below 30% of the card maximum will help. Don’t open or close any cards unless instructed to do so.  CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT CREDIT REPAIR 

3. Know Your Affordability

The best way to determine how much house you can afford to purchase is by using an Affordability Calculator.  Simply plug in what you are comfortable paying per month and it will estimate the purchase price for you.  Now you have a rough estimate that you can use to start searching homes.

4. Save For Down Payment And Closing Costs

Since you’ve checked your credit and know roughly what you can afford be sure you have enough saved for a down payment and any closing costs.  While there are some down payment assistance programs, sometimes it comes at a cost of a higher rate so it may be in your best interest to save for a down payment. Depending on the type of loan you qualify for you may be required to come up with 3.5% of the purchase price for a down payment or up to 20%. Additionally the loan itself has additional costs known as closing costs and those are typically 2-3% of the loan amount.  A good agent like myself may be able to negotiate the seller paying a portion or all of your closing cost.

5. Save For Extra Expenses

Aside from down payment and closing costs there are additional expenses involved with buying a home. You are going to want to have money saved up for the initial deposit or earnest deposit as it is sometimes called. You will also need money saved up for appraisal fee, inspections, movers, appliances, window covers, maintenance and possibly increase in utilities. 

6. Steady Employment

If you are thinking about switching careers you may want to hold off on it as a lender is going to want to see steady and consistent employment.  Same goes for time off, if your normal work hours show you working 60+ hours a week it may not be the best time to reduce your hours to 20-30 hours per week.  Along with consistency of employment you are going to want to have consistently filed your taxes and have all W2’S available.

7. Getting Familiar With Real Estate Terms

There are a lot of abbreviations in real estate and now would be a good time to get familiar with them.  Knowing the different loan types is a good start:  FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional, Jumbo.  Here a a first time buyer’s guide that goes over most frequently used terms. GET MY FREE BUYER'S GUIDE HERE 

8. Know The Neighborhood

This is a great time to start researching possible neighborhoods that you may be interested in living in.  If schools are important to you, researching local schools on sites like www.greatschools.org is a great place to start.  Also checking on the Walkscore  may be of use to you if you are looking for a neighborhood that is very walkable or close to possible employment.  Lastly, checking with your local Police Department or sites like crimereports.com to get an idea of the crime in the area. 

9. Get Pre-approved

Once you’ve done the previous steps and you are ready to get serious, you will need to meet with a lender and get pre-approved.  Here the lender is going to run your credit, collect your W2’s, tax returns and bank statements to see if you can get qualified for a loan. If qualified they will let you know how much you are qualified for, how much your down payment and closing costs will be and what your monthly payment will be.  They will issue you a pre-approval letter that goes over the type of loan and how much you are approved for. This letter is to be given to the seller or seller’s agent along with your purchase offer to let them know you are qualified to buy a home.  This pre-approval is typically good for 60-90 days to allow you time to shop around for a home.  I have connected with a few great local Sacramento area lenders I can refer to you.

10. Hire Me As Your Agent!

The last step if choosing to buy a home in the Sacramento Valley in 2019 is to give me a call and hire me as your agent.  As your agent it’s my job to help locate the home of your dreams, but it doesn’t stop there.  It’s also my job to get you that home on terms that are favorable to you.  I will handle everything so you can relax and get into your new home as stress free as possible.

My direct number is 916-213-4382 or feel free to email me at derek@teamjones.realtor

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Derek Jones

Husband and recent father to a beautiful girl. I got into real estate to make a difference on the consumer experience. I have a goal of bringing professionalism back to the industry. I service Sacr....

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