By Kara Masterson
So, you're thinking of buying a house? Congratulations! This is a huge milestone in your life. But before you start touring homes and picking out paint colors, there are a few things you need to take care of first. Here are four things you might not realize you need when buying a home.
A Good Credit Score
Your credit score is a three-digit number that lenders use to determine your riskiness as a borrower. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to get approved for a loan, and the better your loan terms will be. If you don't know your credit score, you can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once per year through services like AnnualCreditReport.com.
A Lender Pre-Approval
A lender pre-approval is not the same as getting pre-qualified for a loan. To get pre-qualified, you simply give the lender some basic financial information, such as your income and debts. The lender then does a quick calculation to give you an idea of how much you could borrow. On the other hand, with pre-approval, the lender will pull your credit report, verify your employment and income, and assess how much money they're willing to lend you. A pre-approval letter shows sellers that you're serious about buying their home and that you have the financial backing to do it.
While you're not required to use a realtor when buying or selling a home, it's strongly recommended that you do. A good realtor will help guide you through the entire process from start to finish and can save you time, money, and headaches by helping you avoid common pitfalls. Plus, in most cases, the seller pays the commission for both the buyer's and seller's agents, so using one won't cost you anything out of pocket.
Real Estate Attorney
Real estate transactions can be complicated and confusing, even for experienced buyers and sellers. That's why it's always a good idea to consult with a real estate attorney before buying or selling property. A good lawyer will make sure that all of the paperwork is in order and help to protect you from being taken advantage of. They can also explain any legal jargon you don't understand and offer guidance on how to best proceed with your transaction. In some states, a real estate attorney is even required in order to close on a home. So if you're considering buying or selling property, be sure to consult with a real estate attorney first.
Buying a home is an exciting process—but it's also one that requires careful planning and preparation. Before diving into home shopping head first, make sure you've taken care of these four critical items first. Doing so will put you in the best possible position to buy the home of your dreams while avoiding any unnecessary headaches or heartaches along the way!
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family. If you are looking for a professional roofer, Masterson recommends contacting Precise Roofing & Contracting.