Before you grab the classifieds and start circling open houses ads, build a foundation for successful ownership.

  • Evaluate all your expenses and create a realistic budget.
  • Save for the down payment, usually at least 3 percent of a home's price, and closing costs, which can be as
    much as 7 percent of a home's price.
  • Pay down your credit cards but make sure not to deplete your savings.
  • Save for an emergency fund for house repairs.
  • Establish a good credit history. Start by checking your credit score, correct any errors and seek help to raise
    it if necessary.
  • Consider the stability of your job.
  • Determine how much you're willing to pay and what you can afford.
  • Become familiar with basic mortgage terminology.
  • Compare the rates of different mortgage companies and types of mortgages.
  • Research to determine if you qualify for mortgage or down payment assistance.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan.
  • Develop a wish list of what you would like your home to have. Then prioritize your list.
  • Look into neighborhoods of interest and determine the crime rates and quality of schools.
  • Shop around for a real estate agent. Get a recommendations from friends/family.
  • Calculate the costs of homeownership, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance and any
    homeowner's association fees.
  • Don't rush into buying a home even with increasing rates. A 30-year mortgage, the most common type, is a
    long-term investment.
  • Don't spend money on any major purchases that would create debt, like a car, furniture, appliances, jewelry or
    vacations.
  • Don't move money around. Lenders look at the sources of down payment money and closing costs. Most
    loans require two or three months of statements and a complete paper trail of all withdrawals and deposits on
    checking and savings accounts, money market funds, stock statements and any other accounts.
  • Don't change jobs suddenly. Changing employers may not affect qualifying for a mortgage, especially if the
    job pays more. But, lenders like stability.
  • Don't look at homes above your price range.  

Are you ready for the AgorillaREALTOR experience? Remember: "It's a jungle out there; why monkey around when
you can hire Agorilla"  Let's get started!

Reference: No author (2008). Retrieved from Honolulu Advertiser, 3/23/08. Written in whole.
Building a Foundation for Homeownership - Buyer Tips
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