Are you currently renting or living with family or friends, but want to buy a home? This is a noble goal to have. As a REALTOR®, I would be happy to help you execute a plan to put yourself in a position to be a first time home buyer. This is something I have experienced, and would love to help you experience it as well.
In recent years in the real estate market we have seen an increase in listings, but not an increase in qualified buyers and renters. The economy has not been kind in the past 5-7 years, and many individuals have impaired credit. Criteria for qualifying for a mortgage was strengthened due to the problems seen in the past with people getting mortgages they could not sustain due to lax mortgage underwriting. In a nutshell, it became a bit harder to qualify for a mortgage. Although things are getting better, lenders will always have specific criteria for lending to protect their companies from risk.
If you find yourself unable to be pre-approved for a mortgage now, do not despair! You can realize the dream of home ownership. The first step to qualifying for a mortgage is to know where your credit stands. You can obtain your credit reports annually without charge at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action. You can also monitor changes in your credit scores for free at www.creditkarma.com.
Once you obtain your reports, review them carefully. Are there inaccuracies? Are there accounts listed that do not belong to you? You can dispute errors on your credit report. For more information on how to do that see: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0151-disputing-errors-credit-reports. for a printable brochure on disputing your credit report information see this link: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0038-how-to-dispute-credit-errors.pdf.
Once you have disputed inaccuracies, set up a plan to pay all delinquencies off, bring all past-due accounts current, and ensure that all bills are paid on time for the next 12 months. This will require discipline, and may require adjusting your lifestyle so that you can live well within your means. The key to success is keeping your eye on the prize. You want to improve your credit so you can buy a home, car, or other item and you do not want to continue to pay more interest for credit and loans than folks with good credit do. You will increase your buying power and save money now and over time by focusing on repairing your credit.
Review your living situation, bills, entertainment expenses, dining out expenses – all variable expenses and see if you can live more cheaply, and use the savings to repay debts and pay bills on time. Also think about starting or expanding a savings account. You will need some savings to purchase a home, so you should start now planning how you can save painlessly. Can you increase 401k contributions? Does your bank have a “keep the change” function that helps you automatically save? Can you give up one luxury and save that exact amount every week or every month?
I would be happy to help you set up an action plan to get to a point where you can buy a home. Setting up a plan is free. I only ask that you commit to doing your next home buying or renting transaction with me.
Home ownership has it’s advantages. There are tax breaks, the ability to decorate your living space without restrictions, the ability to build equity, and the fact that most home owners have a higher net worth than most renters. Add to that the fact that you can own a home for less than rent, and you have many good reasons to make home ownership a goal for quality living.
Ready to buy, sell, or rent, or ready to plan to do so? Give me a call at 540-710-4205. I have mortgage lenders who will help you get pre-approved, and then we can go shopping for your home!
Know someone who is ready to buy or sell or needs to plan to do so? – Give them my number, 540-710-4205, or my email: Michelle.Smith@exprealty.com. I can help them plan no matter where they live in the world. I can also help them execute the transaction if they are within the state of Virginia. If they are in another state, or another country, I will refer them to a local agent in our network.
Michelle Olivia Smith