Buying a home is not something you just run out and do one day. It's a big move that most people need to slowly build up to, starting a months or even a year beforehand. If you want to purchase a home in about 6 months, here are three things you should already have accomplished.
Savings For a Down Payment
Even though there are mortgages you can qualify for without putting 20% down, it's still a good idea to save as large of a down payment as you can. The larger your down payment, the more likely you are to get approved for a mortgage. Plus, your monthly mortgage payments will be lower when you put a bit more down. Six months out from buying a house, you may not have your entire down payment saved up, but you should at least have a substantial portion set aside. Make sure you factor closing costs into the amount you're saving. Things like lawyer fees, title search fees, and home inspections can add up quickly.
Start your preparation early for getting approved for a home loan. Contact a lender like Blue Wave Funding to find out more about mortgage loans and down payments.
A List of Possible Agents
You may not have settled on a specific real estate agent yet, but since finding the right one can take some time, you want to at least be compiling a list of possible agents to work with. Talk to family and friends who have purchased homes recently, and see who they used. Read online reviews and note the names of the local realtors with the best reviews. When you're a few months closer to buying a home, you can interview each agent personally and choose one.
An Idea Of Where You Want to Live
Six months out, you should have an idea of what neighborhood -- or neighborhoods -- you would like to live in. Do some research on school districts, traffic, and local amenities to narrow down your options to three or less. This will make things easier as you research home costs and decide what you can afford. Plus, it will allow you to search for realtors who are true experts in those specific areas. Drive around the general vicinity, and make note of neighborhoods you like. The, rank them from most-liked to least-liked to arrive at your top three.
As your time to buy a home grows closer, you'll start actually applying for loans and contracting with a realtor. For now, however, if you have the three things above accomplished, you're in good shape.