Now is the time to do some homework to avoid disappointment or frustration as you enter the home-buying arena. Organizing your finances will help you know how much house you can handle.

1. Compile copies of the following documents:
Recent pay stubs
Two years’ tax returns
All financial statements:

2. Start saving for a down payment and extra incidental costs (inspections, appraisals, title insurance, etc.)

3. Check your credit rating and monitor your credit throughout the home-buying process. 

Credit scores range from 400 to 800. A score of 620 or higher is considered “good.” Scores of 680 or more are considered “premium.” Higher scores can help you get a lower interest rate. Talk to your lender about ways to improve your score.

To check your credit, contact one or more of the following agencies:
(800) 685-1111

(800) 392-1122

Trans Union
(800) 888-4213

4. Get pre-approved by a lender. Pre-approval will let you know how much you can afford to purchase, and it will improve your chances of having your offer accepted by a seller. RealtyCenter has in house mortgage specialists that can help you with this process. Please contact Ronnie Burk with any questions that you might have about the pre-approval process. No mater who you go with for your Lender we highly recommend that you use someone local.

Take your financial file with you when you meet with a lender. It will make the process nearly painless. Keep in mind, your lender may want to know some of the following information:

5. Keep things simple. Once you begin this process, it’s best to avoid making any major purchases, changing careers, or moving large amounts of money around. Save any big life changes until after you’ve closed on your home!