6 New Year’s Resolutions for the Prospective Home Buyer

6 New Year's Resolutions for the Prospective Home Buyer | blog.phmc.com

As 2017 is quickly approaching, answer these two questions:

1. What has you fed up about your current living situation? Sky rocketing rents, feeling trapped in a small space, lack of freedom from your parents?

2. What’s holding you back from purchasing a home? Down payment funds, lack of credit, debt?

Here are a list of 6 New Year’s Resolutions to make 2017 your year:

1. Save

Money doesn’t grow on trees–unfortunately. In fact, it tends to disappear much faster than we want it to. Generally, they say you should go by the 50/30/20 rule: 50% bills and necessities, 30% for personal, and 20% towards savings. However, depending on your own personal budget, creating your own savings plan might be more successful:

New Year's Resolutions for Prospective Home Buyers | blog.phmc.com

2. Check & improve your credit score

We can all agree that debt scares us, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by avoiding credit cards and loans or ignoring your current debt. Creditworthiness is an important aspect of your financial life and can impact your monthly payments, interest rates, and loan qualification. Here are a few tips to start raising your credit at a comfortable pace:

Tip 1: Get a credit card. People are afraid of credit, but it is crucial. Open one or two lines of credit and pay them on time each month. You will be surprised how quickly your credit score increases. Make sure you fully understand the due dates and interest rates.

Tip 2: Be mindful of your limits. All credit cards will have a certain dollar amount you should not meet or surpass each month. You do not want to max out your limit, as it can negatively affect your credit score.

Tip 3: Under-use your credit cards. Many Americans have the wrong idea about credit card usage. The more you use it and pay it off, the better your score. Not necessarily, you should use your credit cards wisely and moderately for larger purchases.

Tip 4: Raise your credit limit. It might not make sense but asking your creditors to increase your limit can, in fact, help your score. Credit is all about responsibility and accountability. Be cautious with this one though!

Tip 5: Don’t close any credit cards. When you cancel a credit card, it causes your available credit to decrease. This does not look good to creditors. Keep your credit cards active by adding recurring charges, like a utility bill, instead of closing it.

3. Do your research

Down payment assistance programs are a beautiful thing! Who doesn’t want up to $7,500 to put towards purchasing a home? Many prospective home buyers think they cannot afford a home due to lack of down payment funds. Little do they know, various programs are readily available and easier to qualify for. Check out some of the programs that can help you purchase your first or next home:

IHDA 1st Home Illinois | blog.phmc.com

• $7,500 cash grant for down payment and closing costs

• 30-year, fixed rate mortgage with a competitive interest rate

• Choice of FHA, VA, USDA or Conventional loan type

IHDA @HomeIllinois Mortgage | blog.phmc.com

• $5,000 down payment or closing cost assistance

• Federal tax credit certificate

• Choice of FHA, VA, USDA or Conventional loan type

What state will you be purchasing in? Check your state’s down payment assistance programs here.

4. Debt Consolidation 

No one likes to talk or even think about debt. Life is expensive! Where do you begin on paying it off? Should you tackle your student loans? Pay off your car? Say goodbye to your credit card debt? There are two forms: good and bad debt. So what’s the difference? Whether or not the debt improves your current financial position is key on finding which debt you should pay off first. Do your research and contact a professional to devise the best plan.

5. Get a Pre-Approval

The pre-approval process is very important, as the majority of your questions will be answered. Before you get ahead of yourself and start looking for homes, speak to a professional. Why should you get your pre-approval first? You will find detailed information about your budget in order to find the right home for you:

New Year's Resolutions for the Prospective Home Buyer | blog.phmc.com

6. Location, location, location!

It’s alright to be picky. Purchasing a home is a long-term investment, and you want to make sure you will be happy there. What’s on your home wish list? Finished basement, updated kitchens, or a certain number of bedrooms? What do you want in an area? Close to public transportation, a lot of amenities, great schools? These are all things you need to be thinking about! Click the images below for resources on some of the top areas to live in the United States:

Niche's 2016 Best Suburbs to Buy a Home | blog.phmc.com
Hottest Neighborhoods of 2016 | blog.phmc.com
Top Places for Vacation Homes and Second Homes
Baby Boomers on the Move | blog.phmc.com


 

Bruce Biggers | blog.phmc.com

Phone: (815) 494-1990

Email: bruce.biggers@phmc.com

Branch Location: 

2990 N. Perryville Rd. Rockford, IL. 61107

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Bruce Biggers

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