When you begin to think about buying a house, the decision should spark a number of actions on your part to ensure that you are ready to take on an important financial obligation. Take a close look at how you are currently spending money, the amount of debt you have and how you can arrange your finances to make a monthly mortgage payment easier on your budget. Here are some tips on financial fitness that can help make taking on a mortgage obligation a bit easier:
Check Your Credit Record
Before you begin your search for the perfect home, investigate the state of your credit record at one of the various reporting agencies. Sometimes, your record may contain mistakes or have delays in a correction that will affect your credit score when you apply for a loan. If there is inaccurate information on your record, contact the agency and provide documentation of payment or other information that will remove the problem. If there is a credit issue that you were not aware of, make the payment and ensure that it appears on your record as paid.
Pay Down Old Debt
Before embarking on the new financial obligation of a home, homebuyers should pay off any old debt they may have. These debts generally include student loans for your education, vehicle financing, credit card debt or balances from retail establishments. Lowering your debt load will reduce your debt-to-income ratio, a critical factor that banks consider when approving mortgages. Lowering the amount of debt you owe will show that you are a responsible party with a record of careful paying off financial obligations.
Improve Your Income
In the period before searching for a house, you should do everything in your power to increase your income. This measure may mean applying for that better-paying position at work or starting a home business that brings in extra money on a regular basis. If you feel that changing jobs to work at a new company is the only solution for increasing your income, make this move well ahead of your search for a new home. Banks generally look for stability in employment, and employment for less than a year can work against being approved for a mortgage loan.
Cut Your Monthly Expenses
Before you take on the mortgage burden, take a close look at how your family spends money each month. You may be able to whittle down a number of expenses, such as cable TV charges, phone charges, energy expenses and clothing costs. Small changes can lead to big savings that will help you to manage your monthly mortgage payment more easily.
Save For A Hefty Down Payment
If you put more money toward the down payment on your home, you will be able to achieve a smaller monthly mortgage amount. Many people find it difficult to save money for the minimum required for a down payment, but you work just a bit harder to save a larger amount, you will be rewarded with a monthly payment that takes a smaller bit of your family’s monthly income.
Save For Expected Expenses
The period before you find and move to a house is the perfect time to save up for larger purchases that you know you will need in your new lodging. Save up for furniture you expect to need or purchase a few items in advance. You may want to do painting, remodeling or other work to improve your new home. If you have money already saved, you can begin the work as soon as you move into the new location.
Find Out How Much House You Can Afford
A number of mortgage calculators are available online that can help you to determine how much house you can afford. You can also research the types of loans that are available to learn which one is best for your financial needs. Contact Blundells to discuss mortgage options and the types of homes that are available.
Adjust Your Expectations
Many prospective homebuyers become disappointed and discouraged when their expectations for finding the perfect home do not match with the reality of what is available in their price range. Homebuyers should be ready to utilize their imaginations when viewing properties to see the potential for adaptation to their own particular needs. Read-made space for hobbies, guest accommodation and other needs may not always be immediately apparent, but if you come up with ideas for fulfilling these needs, you will find that many spaces can fill dual needs, if you utilize special furnishings or storage cabinets.
If you take care of these issues, you will be in a better position to choose the house you want and be better able to get the favorable mortgage rate you need.
Aaron Carter works in the financial sector and understands the importance of getting your finances in shape for successful property investing. He likes to share his insights online and is a regular contributor for a number of property-related websites.