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If you’re getting ready to buy a home in Lakewood, there are 10 steps you can take to get ready to do it right.


10 Ways to Gear Up to Buy a Home


If you’re getting ready to buy a home in Lakewood, there are 10 steps you can take to get ready to do it right.


10 Ways to Gear Up to Buy a Home


 1. Start making a wish list. You’ll save a lot of time when you’re searching if you know exactly what you want before you start.


2. Check in on your credit score. Thanks to the FTC, we’re all entitled to one free copy of our credit report each year, so get yours and have a peek. If you find errors, dispute them.


3. Pay down credit card debt. The more debt you pay down, the lower your debt-to-income ratio will be – and the better your credit score will be. Don’t close your cards when they’re paid off, though; that’s another thing that can (negatively) affect your credit.


4. Learn about loan programs. Check out your options, including VA loans if you’re eligible, FHA loans, and Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans.


5. Start planning for property taxes. You’ll want to find out how much you’ll owe in taxes and, if possible, start stashing away extra cash to cover the expense.


6. Put away money for closing costs. In some cases, the seller can pay your closing costs – but it doesn’t always work out that way. You could end up spending between 3 and 5 percent of a home’s purchase price on closing costs, so it pays (literally) to plan ahead.


7. Dig up your tax returns. When you apply for a mortgage loan, your lender will want to see at least your last two tax returns, so make sure you’re ready.


8. Do some window-shopping. If you’re up for it, start visiting open houses to get a feel for what’s out there. Remember, though, not all homes are open to the public. You can ask your real estate agent for a private tour of any home that’s listed on the market.


9. Check out schools. If you have children, or if you plan to have them in the future, start doing your research on the school districts (and individual schools) in the area. You may want to live near a particular school, so it’s important to do your homework. Your agent can’t tell you whether a school is good or bad, but you can do your own research on it.


10. Start mortgage-shopping. When your credit report is 100 percent correct and you’ve done what you can to pay down credit card debt, it’s time to start shopping for a mortgage. You can talk to as many lenders as you’d like to find out who’s going to give you the most favorable terms before you make a decision.


Are You Ready to Buy a Home in Lakewood?


We’d love to help you find your dream home in Lakewood or the surrounding communities. When you’re ready to start exploring your options, call us at 562-882-1581. 


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