Six months feels really far away, doesn’t it? It should be plenty of time to break it off with your landlord and move into a house of your own. While you may be emotionally ready to rip up your lease and put your renting days behind you, it can take a while to get your finances in order to make such a big-ticket purchase. In other words, if you’re planning to buy a home in six months, you’d better start prepping now.
Why the rush? With a bit of financial housekeeping, you increase your chances of scoring the lowest possible interest rate. Even a fraction of a percentage can translate to major savings over the life of your mortgage. We’re talking thousands of dollars, here! By following the steps below, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in the competitive Summit County real estate market.
Must-Do Steps to Buy a Home in Six Months
1. Review your credit report. This should be the very first thing you do, since it can take several months to clear up any mistakes. Avoid opening new credit cards and don’t shuffle large amounts of money between accounts.
2. Boost your credit score. The best interest rates are available to buyers with credit scores of 750 and up. Boost yours by paying bills on time and bringing your balances down to less than 30 percent of your available credit.
3. Save, save, save! Hopefully you’ve already been saving, but now is a good time to beef up your bank accounts. You’ll need to show lenders that you can afford a mortgage payment that may be higher than what you pay in rent.
4. Figure out your down payment. You should have a good amount saved, but don’t assume you need to put 20 percent down. Veterans and first-time homebuyers may qualify for programs with less cash required up front.
5. Build an emergency fund. If you plan to buy a home in six months, it’s smart to start setting aside some money to pay for unexpected repairs. After all, new roof or water heater can really set you back if you’re not prepared.
6. Shop around for a mortgage. Though most buyers do, you have no obligation to go with the first bank that offers you a loan. To get the best deal, request quotes from multiple lenders about six weeks before you plan to buy.
7. Get pre-approved. In a competitive market, buyers are smart to have a pre-approval letter from their lender showing how much they can afford. This extra step shows a seller that you’re motivated to make a serious offer.
8. Start looking at neighborhoods. Once you have a budget, scout out some neighborhoods that meet your needs and wants. Consider commute times, amenities, and vibe. Do you prefer a quiet street or one close to downtown?
Planning to buy a home in six months? We can help!
Spring is generally considered the best time to buy a home in most markets. But in Summit County, real estate really heats up towards the end of summer. With ski season approaching, sellers are motivated to unload their properties and buyers are anxious to move just in time for the new school year. If our calculations are correct, this makes now the absolute perfect time to start preparing. Once you’ve cleaned up your credit, figured out a down payment, and have your pre-approval letter in hand, give us a call. At Dwell Summit, we’re passionate about the Summit County lifestyle and would be honored to match you with the home of your dreams!