7 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership
With a little research and preparation much of the stress of home buying can be reduced. Finding the perfect home for sale in Stark or Tuscarawas County starts with these simple steps.
- Decide what you can afford. A good rule of thumb- you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income. But always speak with a lender as they will be the deciding factor in how much home you can purchase with a mortgage.
- Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list. Minimum number of Beds/Baths you need, yard size, square footage, garage, neighborhood, and so forth.
- Select where you want to live. Put together a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety. Spend some time driving around the neighborhoods, and get a feel for what they offer.
Homes for sale in Stark County
- Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, for a conventional loan you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees — average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price. If you qualify for a VA or FHA loan, the amount needed for your down payment is typically lower, with an FHA the minimum is 3.5% down.
- Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.
- Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.
- Contact a REALTOR®. Find an experienced REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process. Contact me