Have you decided you want to buy a home in the York County area? Before you begin looking, be sure you’re financially ready for the process of purchasing a home. It’s not really complicated, but it does require some preparation.
The first thing to do is check your credit score. Fair Isaac Corporation developed the FICO score to gauge a person’s financial health. The factors that make up your credit score are: payment history – 35%, amounts owed – 30%, length of credit history – 15%, new credit accounts 10%, and types of credit used – 10%. If you have problems in any of these areas, take steps to correct them. Pay off debts and begin making payments on utilities and such on time. Don’t apply for any new loans. With an internet search, you can check your credit score for free.
If you haven’t saved for a down payment, start right now. Most mortgages require at least a 10% down payment. There are some creative ways of starting with less, but these can be risky. It’s even better to have 20% down to avoid paying mortgage insurance.
Besides a down payment, there are other expenses involved in buying a house. Sellers often pay closing costs to attract buyers, but that isn’t written in stone. Besides, you’ll encounter pest inspection fees, loan origination fees, appraisal fees, Title Insurance, and other fees.
The cost of moving must be included in this list. Even if you opt for having friends help instead of hiring professionals, there are expenses. You’ll need boxes, bubble wrap, tape (with dispensers), and even markers. You’ll also have to feed your volunteer crew. That’s just for the actual move. It doesn’t include the equipment and supplies for cleaning, painting, and readying your new home. You may even have to purchase some appliances not included in the purchase of the house.
Before you begin looking for a house, experts recommend you get pre-approved for a loan. This way, you’ll have a realistic idea of what you can afford. You’ll save time and disappointment. You won’t be looking at properties you don’t have a reasonable chance of buying. It also gives you an advantage if you must bid against someone who isn’t pre-approved.
One thing that can save you money is to work with a buyer’s agent, because the seller pays the commission for your agent. Then you’ll have a marketwise advocate during negotiations. You’ll also have help navigating the truckload of paperwork associated with buying a house, thus saving you loads of time.
When you’re financially ready to begin looking for that dream home, give us a call. Let us know you’re interested in listing or buying a home in the York County area, and we’ll be ready to help. The Jim Powers Team of local Realtors® is here for you from start to end. Visit our website to learn more, then contact us or give us a call at 717- 417- 4111.