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5 Signs You’re Not Ready to Buy a House

Are you in the market to buy a house? Buying a house is full of excitement.

However, the steps to buying a house can cause stress from figuring out how much house you can afford to how to get a mortgage loan to how the loan process works.

In addition, you will need to find out what the best mortgage rates are, maintain good credit or raise your credit score, etc… If you haven’t planned for these things, you’re not ready to buy a house.

Wondering how buying a house can affect your overall financial plan? Talk to a local financial advisor.

In no particular order, here are 5 signs you’re not ready to buy a house.

1. Your credit report is a mess.

Maintaining good credit or raising your credit score is important for buying a house.

In order to get approved for a mortgage loan, you have to have a good to excellent credit score. Exceptions can be made if you’re using an FHA or VA loan where your credit score can be lower.

But the higher your credit score, the better because it qualifies you for a lower interest rate, which will then save you money in the long term. You should aim for the highest credit score possible.

So your credit score is important.

If your credit score is low, you need to find a way to improve it.

The first step is to have a copy of your credit report to review your credit score and accounts. 

Once you have a copy of your credit report, you know where you stand. You can review it for errors or fraudulent activity, and start working on improving your credit score.

So a good rule of thumb is no to rush into buying a house unless you have a good credit score.

The Best Way to Save on Buying a House

Buying a house is extremely complex and costly.

If you’re looking for a way to decrease cost, we recommend finding a financial advisor. They can help you understand your options and look for ways to save money.

If you need help finding a financial advisor, SmartAsset’s free quiz helps Americans find vetted qualified financial advisors who serve their area.

This quiz asks you a few questions, then matches you with up to three fiduciary financial advisors. You can compare your advisor matches based on their specialty, pricing, and more. You even earn a free consultation with each of your matches, so you can compare them and be fully prepared to pick a financial advisor.

2. You haven’t shopped for the best mortgage loan.

The process of buying a house involves finding a great mortgage lender to finance your home. There are several mortgage lenders out there, including Rocket Mortgage, but Lending Tree is a better choice, because you get to compare several loan offers and rates before you make a thoughtful decision.

But it’s a good idea to shop around for the best mortgage that suits you and don’t rely on just one source because saving even half a percent on the interest rate can save you thousands of dollars over time.

Consider the best mortgage loan companies and work with a lender who will explore several options with you.

3. You haven’t been pre-approved for a mortgage.

A lot of times, before a real estate agent can show you a house, you’ll need a pre-approval letter from your lender or loan officer.

A pre approval letter not only shows to the buyer and seller that you’re serious about buying a house, but it also shows that you have good credit and you can finance the house.

4. You haven’t saved for a down payment.

a) How much down payment do I need to buy a home?

There are a number of costs to consider when you’re ready for your home purchase. The biggest upfront cost is usually a down payment.

b) How much down payment do I need?

The more money you put down on the house, the less money you will have to borrow.

But a conventional loan down payment of 20% of the home purchase price plus enough to cover ongoing costs is ideal.

However, if you’re a first time home buyer or a veteran, your down payment for your home purchase can be nonexistent or as low as 3% of the purchase price (An FHA down payment is usually 3% of the home purchase price).

c) Saving for a down payment for your home purchase

Saving for a down payment can take a long time. But, by establishing a good savings habit and sticking to it, you can watch your savings grow.

Setting up a dedicated high-interest savings account is a great way to save for a down payment. You can transfer money into the savings account each pay period based on what your budget allows.

Or, better yet, you can set up a direct debit to transfer the money automatically, so you’re less likely to spend it.

5. You haven’t figured out how much home you can afford.

The process of buying a house is costly. There are costs before, during, and after your home purchase.

One of the first things you need to do is to get your finances in place so you know what you’re committing yourself to.

That’s why buying a house takes planning, research and careful budgeting.

You need to figure out how much home you can afford.

Working out what mortgage you can afford is about striking a balance between the lifestyle you want and the one you can comfortably afford.

Make sure you know what ongoing costs you’ll have to manage on top of your repayments once you move into your new home.

Also do a budget to work out how much you can afford in mortgage repayments. 

In conclusion, buying a house can be a rewarding experience. But it’s not without costs. So, it’s important to plan, research, and budget. It’s also important to improve your credit score.

The higher your credit score, the better when it comes to interest rates and getting approved for a mortgage loan.


Work with the Right Financial Advisor

You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

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