Three Tips for Moms Getting Ready to Buy Their First Home

January 12, 2018

in Lifestyle

As a devoted mom, you are simply over the moon about becoming a home buyer. After years of renting, you cannot wait to let your kids choose the colors to paint their rooms, have your very own backyard and have something that is truly yours — not a landlord’s.

While you are understandably beyond excited to purchase your first home, it is important to keep a calm and cool head about the entire process. With that in mind, please consider the following cautionary tips that will help ensure the home buying process is more fun than stressful:

Protect Your Identity

Buying a home takes signing your name on the dotted line more times than you can imagine, and it also involves numerous credit checks and banks and mortgage companies accessing all of your personal financial data. All of this paperwork and checking means that countless people will have access to your sensitive information, which in turn can increase your chances to becoming a victim of identity theft. Before your start working with a Realtor to look at available homes, consider investing in a program that will monitor your personal info and let you know when something is amiss. For example, look for a service that will not only monitor your data 24/7 and let you know when someone is running a credit check, but will also get busy restoring your good name should your identity and info be compromised.

Check Your Credit

The reason that banks and mortgage companies are so interested in checking your credit scores when you are buying a home is simple: They want to be sure that you are a good financial risk and that you are likely to pay your mortgage. They also use your FICO score to determine which interest rate you will qualify for on your loan, in addition to seeing if you will quality for that loan at all. Because your credit score is so important in the home buying process, you want to make sure your credit report is completely accurate. Many identity theft services will include free access to your credit reports, as will some banks. You are also entitled to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Once you have the reports in your hands, go over them with a fine-toothed comb looking for mistakes, unpaid accounts or collection notices; if there are errors, contact those companies to see how to get them removed from your report. If you need to repair your damaged credit, it can take some time — this is why you should start this process at least six months before going out to look for homes.

Avoid Maxing Out Your Mortgage Limit

Once you are ready to shop for a home, it is a good idea to be pre-approved by your bank or mortgage company; this way, you’ll know how much you can afford and not get your heart set on a huge house that you can’t afford. Using info like your income and debts, you will be given a maximum number that you should qualify for. However, just because a lender says “Sure, we’ll loan you $200K for your home,” doesn’t mean that you want to hit that ceiling. Even though people on home buying shows go to or over their budgets all the time, keep a level head and strive to find something well under your max amount. This will prevent you from living paycheck to paycheck as a homeowner and will give you wiggle room each month for unexpected expenses as well as any renovations you might want to tackle.

These three tips are not meant to scare you, but rather enlighten and empower you as you embark on your journey to be a homeowner. By being proactive with your identity and credit reports and then staying calm throughout the entire home buying process and not buy the most expensive home you find, you will soon fulfill your dream of being a homeowner.

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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

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