Because it’s viewed as the logical step after renting, many Americans still believe in the value of homeownership. Despite this widely held desire, lots of people aren’t aware of what happens once leaping to buy. Here’s what you need to know before closing this important deal.

Evaluate Your Credit

Because getting a home loan demands stellar credit, it’s a good idea to begin the process of assessing yours well in advance. Give yourself time to dig out of any credit score hole before trying to obtain a loan. Don’t wait until the last minute when you might end up losing that dream house, a house you’ve already moved into “mentally.” Get your credit evaluated 6 months to a year prior to shopping in earnest.

Calculate Down Payment

Because the down payment is a hurdle for many, rigorously research mortgage lenders. Always consult people you know that have gone through the process before. Look into the loan laws where you’re moving, because loan regulation usually varies state to state.

Home Improvements

Factor in how much you want to spend in repairs and general home improvement. That picturesque home you have your eye on may be beautiful, a beautiful money pit. “A Fixer-upper” isn’t for everyone, so consider the amount of time, energy and yes, money you’re willing to put into that first home.

Housing Homework

Research the type of neighborhood you want to live in too. Consider how long you want to live there and if it’s a good place for a growing family.


Before making an offer, determine a reasonable starting price, as well as your ceiling. Always be willing to walk away. Rely on a home inspector to examine the home, because what’s wrong with a home may not be visible to the untrained observer.

Does this sound like you or someone you know? Or maybe it reminds you of a past experience. Aside from needing good luck, is there anything else you’d like to add? Reach out on our Facebook or Twitter with your own insights into first-time homeownership.

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