- Start looking at homes now to get an idea of to get an idea of what is available and where you would like to live. Browse online to see what is available in your price range. One place to start is at MHVillage.com.
- Take a homebuyer education class. Knowing how to work with Realtors, find a home, apply for a mortgage, manage your finances, and maintain a home will come in handy through the home-buying process. Call the HOMEteam at (866) 701-9097 or visit hometeamnh.org for more information and to schedule a class.
- Build and maintain good credit. Pay all bills on time. Avoid taking on any new debt or going over your credit limit.
- Keep yourself motivated and moving forward by starting a folder containing your homeownership goals, dreams, and progress. Include pictures of home styles, sizes, and locations you like, as well as everything you learn through the process.
- When thinking about how much house you can afford, be sure to consider costs beyond the monthly mortgage payment. For the purchase, you’ll need a down payment, insurance, reserves, an appraisal, and closing costs. When you own the home, you’ll pay for heating fuel, utilities, and groceries. What will you be comfortable spending each month? And remember, you don’t have to spend the full amount you’ve been pre-approved for. Purchasing a less-expensive home can save you money on the monthly mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and other fees. You might look at this option as buying a home “on sale.”
- Celebrate milestones toward your goal each month on a calendar. If you want to save $2,500 total, reward yourself with a small treat—maybe a movie or a favorite meal—for every $500 you put away. Even small rewards can help you stay motivated.
Each step toward the purchase of a new home will move you that much closer to making your dream a reality. Planning, saving, and education are keys to achieving your home ownership goal. You can do this!
Pamela MacDonald is a Welcome Home Loan Mortgage Loan Originator. NMLS #1385324.
New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, Inc. NMLS #253893. Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department.