The New Year is a great time for a fresh start—if one of your resolutions is to become a homeowner in 2019, here are some steps you can take to get prepared and, as always, please contact us at any time for a free, no obligation consultation.

*Understand your finances – Before you start a home search, you’ll want to have done an evaluation of your finances, including your monthly income, expenses, and savings. Consider meeting with a certified financial planner for advice on creating a budget and not overextending yourself with a home purchase.

*Set up auto deposits into savings account – Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for first-time homebuyers. Consider setting up automatic, monthly deposits into a savings account for this purpose.

*Organize financial paperwork – Applying for a loan requires a great deal of paperwork; make sure you have your tax returns, paycheck stubs, bank and asset statements, W-2 information, and credit report on hand to streamline the process.

*Get your credit score – Credit is a key factor in getting a mortgage and interest rate. Find out what your credit score is and work with a housing counselor to improve it if needed.

*Get preapproved for a loan – Ask your lender to pre-approve you for a home purpose. A pre-approval letter tells you the maximum amount you are qualified to borrow for a home loan and will help strengthen your position in a competitive, multi-offer situation.

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