HABITS TO START NOW IF BUYING A HOME IN 2017

Dated: 02/22/2017

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5 HABITS TO START NOW IF BUYING A HOME IN 2017The new year is upon us and, if you've read our last few blogs, we know that 2017 is going to be the year for many potential homebuyers. If you're one of them, you should begin planning for the home buying process now...even if you are months away from making a purchase. 

1. Automate your savings for a down payment. The 20 percent down payment required by most lenders is a huge chunk of cash. If you're buying in Orange County where the median home price is over $600K, you're going to need upwards of $100K down. Since most of us aren't lottery winners, we need to start regularly saving. This can be difficult because we often lack accountability when other expenses arise that we could put our money towards. If you're serious about buying a home, the easiest and most effective way to do this is to automate your checking account to set aside a portion of your monthly payments.

2. Clean-up your credit. Your credit is the single most important factor in determining how much a creditor is willing to lend you and how high your interest rate will be. The lower your credit, the more difficult it will be for you to qualify and receive loan approval. Build your credit by regularly spending and paying off your credit cards and making consistent and timely payments on your car and/or student loans.

3. Live on a budget. Since you're looking to buy in 2017, now is the time to start being conservative. Compare buying vs. renting in the area that you're looking and weigh your options to determine what is most feasible for you financially. Anything you can cut back on now can go towards that down payment and will help to get you there quicker.

4. Get your handy on. Once you own, you are now responsible for fixing any and all maintenance issues like leaky faucets or electrical shorts. Serious issues like plumbing problems you may need to call a specialist, but for minor maintenance needs, you can save some money by fixing it yourself.

 5. Prepare yourself to make an offer. Keep abreast of what's on the market in the area and price range that you're looking for. Having a solid understanding of what homes are selling for will help prepare and educate you on what you can afford and what would be a fair asking price. You don't want to go into the home buying process with unrealistic expectations or you'll end up sorely disappointed. 

Set your sights on something you realistically can afford.Now that you're armed with these five tips, begin practicing and developing these habits. When buying time comes around, you'll be happy you did.

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Justin Burnham DRE#01706233

Justin Burnham is a real estate veteran of over 15years. As a life-long resident of Orange County, Justin has a deep knowledge of its neighborhoods, schools and business areas. This, along with his st....

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