It’s that time, time to set your New Years Resolutions for the upcoming year. As you consider your goals for 2024, is buying a home something that makes the list? We know that sifting through headlines and developing a strategy to prepare for homeownership can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Working with industry experts is the key.
If you are a first time homebuyer, or hope to be, reach out to us to learn more about how you can prepare for homeownership in 2024. In the meantime, consider these 3 New Years’ resolutions you can make to help you buy a house next year.
How to Make Buying a Home a Reality for Your 2024 New Years Resolutions
1. Assess your financial health
Money can be taboo, and assessing your own financial fitness might not be at the top of your list of favorite things to do. However, taking a look at the numbers can actually be empowering. As you get ready to buy a home, start with these steps to financially prepare:
- Start by assessing your current financial situation. Develop a detailed budget that outlines your monthly income, expenses, and savings goals. Find out what your credit score and DTI are. Gather all the information so you have a full picture of where you are right now.
- Establish or strengthen your emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. This safety net can prevent financial setbacks and ensure that you stay on track with your savings goals.
- Reduce high-interest debt to improve your credit score and free up more funds for your down payment. Prioritize paying off credit cards and other outstanding loans to strengthen your financial profile.
- Understand your DTI, your debt-to-income ratio, and work to lower it if it is above 40%.
- Regularly check your credit score and address any discrepancies or issues. A score in the 600s will likely be enough to qualify, but a higher credit score can qualify you for better mortgage terms and interest rates.
- Talk with a loan officer to find out whether you can qualify for a mortgage now, or what they recommend you do to qualify in the future.
2. Learn more about real estate
Investing in real estate for the first time can be daunting. Resolve in 2024 to make it less overwhelming by arming yourself with more information.
You might decide to learn about one topic each month, or put some of these goals on your list:
- Familiarize yourself with the real estate markets in areas you’re interested in. Understand current property values, market trends, and potential growth areas.
- Attend workshops or seminars on homebuying to gain insights into the process.
- Invest time in reading books, articles, and online resources about real estate and the homebuying process. Understanding terms, common practices, and potential pitfalls will empower you as a buyer.
- Connect with friends, family, or colleagues who have experience buying homes. Learn from their experiences, gather tips, and gain practical advice on what to expect during the homebuying journey.
3. Explore your mortgage options
Set aside the time in 2024 to explore different mortgage options as a part of your New Years Resolutions. Don’t assume that you need a 20% down payment, years of employment records, and tax records that accurately reflect your income. In fact, there is an abundance of options available to first time homeowners, including FHA loans that require as little as 3.5% down, down payment assistance, and non-QM loans designed for self-employed borrowers.
We don’t want you to assume that you are not yet ready to qualify for a mortgage or that you can’t afford one. Let’s crunch the numbers and see which types of mortgages might be the best fit for your unique scenario. We are experts in creative solutions and finding the right loan for each individual client.
Ready to learn more about buying a home next year and check off your biggest New Years Resolutions to date? Contact us any time!