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It is time to buy your first home! Making this purchase is such an overwhelming process, and we want to make it as easy for you as possible. The best way to do that is to be ahead of the game. Before you jump into a new mortgage, learn how to prepare to get the best outcome.

  • Check your credit 

When you apply for a mortgage loan, your credit is the first thing that is checked. You should monitor your credit score and look out for anything that may be affecting it. Make sure your credit report is accurate and that no one else has access to your credit. Your ultimate goal is to prove you have the credit it takes to get the best rate for your loan.

  • Correct any errors

If you come across some errors once you view your credit report, dispute them. These could range from accounts you never opened to addresses that vary from your own, etc.

  • Research!

This will be one of, if not the, largest buying decisions you will make. You must gather as much information and research different loan options, rates, and brokers before making your final decision. Researching could provide you with the chance to get a better rate.

  • The Bigger the Down Payment, the Better

It would be best to be realistic about what you can afford to put down on a new house. When setting your budget, make sure you remember that the more you put down, the better your mortgage terms will be. If your mortgage is lower, you will have more money to put into any necessary repairs and maintenance.

  • Prepayment Penalties

Some types of mortgages come with prepayment penalties. Do not commit without looking into what type of penalties come with the mortgage loan you are selecting.

  • Apply for multiple loans in a short span of time

Each time you apply for a loan, it dings your credit report. Applying to different longs over a month or longer could damage your credit score. That can then affect the rate you get on your mortgage. If you apply for a couple of loans over a two-week period, that is only one inquiry on your report, not multiple.



Timing is everything: Very often, a seller asks, “We can always come down later — right?” Historically when your house goes on the market, the most significant potential for buyer traffic is in the first 30 days, by pricing it high to drop the price later.

Showings shut out: Agents should do what is best for their clients. With inventory high, agents will undoubtedly choose to show properties within their buyer’s price range and meet the current Fair Market Value. Showing overpriced listings does not fall into that criterion.

Benefits the competition: Unfortunately, when a home is overpriced, it not only sits on the market but acts as a selling point for market-priced homes. It’s a cue to buyers to say, “I can get the same house for less!”

Lender trouble: Even if an agent agrees to list your home too high, and even if you were to find a buyer willing to pay more — these are both BIG IFs — today’s lenders are extraordinarily cautious now.

Time on market: Overpriced homes will sit on the market. Unfortunately, extended time on the market forces the question of the possible more significant problems within the property’s walls in a buyer’s mind. What are the first two things a buyer asks when considering a property? What’s the price, and how long has it been on the market?

Lower proceeds: Unfortunately, when a home starts listing life overpriced, it almost always sells for less than market value. With few buyers to choose from, zero leverage because of time on the market, too high an asking price, and carrying costs to maintain the property, most sellers find themselves getting the least from their investment rather than the most.



If you’re starting to think about looking for a new home, picking the neighborhood can seem almost as complicated as picking the house itself. Here are five things to keep in mind as you explore neighborhoods you might like to live in.

1. Time the Commute to Your Job

If one of your reasons for moving is dissatisfaction with your commute, make sure you actually time your commute from your potential new home before you assume it will be faster. Even if the new neighborhood is closer to your job, traffic patterns and road conditions might make for a long drive. If possible, time your commute during rush hour, so you get the most accurate picture.

2. Go For a Walk

There’s no better way to get a sense of a neighborhood than taking a walk around it, ideally at a couple of different times of the day. Look for amenities that are important to you, like parks or grocery stores, and features you’re less fond of, like proximity to major roads. These little explorations will help you get a feel for how happy you could be in this area.

3. Attend a Local Event

If you’re looking to get a feel for the people who live in the area as well as its layout, try to attend a local festival or other events. Assess the crowd to see how well they match your vision of your ideal neighborhood. Take your time to people-watch and get a sense of the community. Local school events like sports games or plays are a particularly good way to see the community; even if you don’t have school-aged kids, you learn a lot about a community from how it treats its students.

4. Read Up on the Neighborhood

Do some research to see how this area has been mentioned online and in the news over the past few years. This will give you a sense of all sorts of important local issues: the job market, the controversies, the politicians, school events.  A town or regional paper is a great place to start because it will show you what locals think are important and how they go about having discussions.