Thursday, December 19, 2013 / by William Culp
Perhaps you're several years away from buying a home. However, whether you plan to make a move in one year, or five, there are steps you should be taking now to get ready for homeownership on the horizon.
Gather good credit – From gaining credit to keeping a close eye on it, credit is a huge deal when it comes to applying for a mortgage.Things like credit cards, car payments, student loans and even phone bills can establish credit, so you may already be well on your way. If you haven’t built up credit yet, don't worry. Open a line of credit and use only what you can pay off each month.
Another way to establish credit and prove you're a responsible potential homeowner is to have your current home rental—if you have one—in your name. This works for utilities like electric and even cable, as well.
Save – From down payments to closing costs, purchasing a home is a pricey process, and that's before you factor in any needed repairs and that new dining room set. Don't count on that check your parents promised you for your first home. Lenders look at how long funds have been in your account when considering you for a mortgage, so be sure to start saving now. Set up an automatic transfer that saves a little of your monthly paycheck to bolster your savings account.
Educate – No matter how financially prepared you may be for your first home, hunting for and buying a home is still a lengthy and often arduous process. Start researching the mortgage process now so that by the time you're ready to make a move, you have a wealth of knowledge, and resources.