How to Prepare to Buy a House

How To Prepare to Buy a House

Review the financial steps on how to prepare to buy a house. Are you looking at purchasing a house? If so, you should know that there are specific financial steps one must take before buying a home to ensure success and ease. Here are some financial tips to prepare you for your home-buying process.

1. Set a Budget

Without a budget, you will likely spend more than you can afford on a home. Each home has a purchase price, which can differ significantly depending on factors such as area and type of house/apartment. When setting your budget, ensure your chosen home falls into that range. Knowing how much money you'll need for closing costs and other expenses such as moving fees, taxes or maintenance is also essential.

2. Have enough savings

One way of determining how much you can afford is by figuring out your risk tolerance level. You may want to assess your risk tolerance using various factors, from self confidence, to determining what you can afford and other tests. For instance, calculate the amount of money you have in your savings, available credit, and net worth (possessions minus liabilities). The more savings you have, the better prepared you may be for buying a home.

3. Calculate the down payment

When calculating a down payment, it is best to make sure you feel comfortable with the whole process, including overall monthly payment, so make sure to have some of the home's purchase price stored in savings. This way, you will be more prepared when confronted with a possible bidding war or if the seller decides to drop the cost of the home unexpectedly.

4. Decide the type of mortgage to undertake

Calculate your monthly payment and compare it to your monthly income and what the limits are per the guidelines of the mortgage program. You want to ensure that your monthly payment is not more than what you feel comfortable with of your gross monthly income. For instance, each mortgage program has a different tolerance level, you can use this as a guide to which program you want. It will give you an idea of what kind of mortgage you can afford and therefore you may want to inquire further about this with Mortgage Quote.

In addition, determine how long it would take to pay off the mortgage. Remember that you should be able to pay off the mortgage debt within 15 years or less.

What financial documents to have ready when buying a house?

1. Proof of income

Your income is the most crucial factor that determines if you should get a loan or not, so make sure you know what your income is or go over this with us to see if you may qualify. It is ideal to have valid proof of your income, or else the mortgage program might not be ideal in note rate. You may present pay stubs, tax returns, and W-2 forms as proof of your income, or if you want to ignore income, and it is an investment property you may do a DSCR program. If you are self-employed, you may provide bank and profit and loss statements to help prove your income.

How To Prepare to Buy a House

2. A credit report

If your credit report shows no derogatory information, then you may have a good credit rating, depending on various other factors. You want to ensure that the lender does not see anything negative on your credit report or else your score may be affected. The derogatory information might include late payments, public records or judgments, foreclosures, charge-offs, and tax liens.

Those with poorer credit scores may want to consider choosing a co-borrower before applying for a home loan. However, you do not require a credit score if you choose to pay cash. In addition, if you decide to get a loan, the lender will review it to make sure it properly meets guidelines for the program you are applying for. The lender will check your credit report thoroughly and may ask for additional information from the co-borrower. If there is a dispute on your credit, there might be an opportunity to correct this during the loan process and get a new credit score as long as you correct derogatories before you close on your new home.

Should you get a loan to buy a house?

You should also consider getting a loan to buy a house. If you decide to take one out, make sure that you understand the expenses and interest rates of the loan. You must also determine if the amount of money you borrow is proportional to your monthly income. Calculate your monthly income and divide it by your monthly debt payments that are on your credit.

Once you get pre-approved by Mortgage Quote, or receive approval with conditions from a lender, you can start looking at homes within your budget. If you get pre-approved before looking at homes, it might be easier to put a home under contract and find a home that fits your needs.

What should you look for when buying a house?

1. You should also ensure that an agent handles any real estate transaction you plan to undertake. If an agent deals with it, you should feel better that a professional is on your side to help get the deal closed.

2. A licensed and knowledgeable appraiser will complete the appraisal report card, if you feel for any reason that the value is too low, then you should have the right to dispute the appraisal, but you or your real estate agent may have to provide supporting comparables to consider. This process of disputing is called, ‘Reconsideration of Value’, and may provide up to 4 recent sales comparables. Normally lenders do not allow a second appraisal unless the mortgage program calls for it, such as a jumbo loan that exceeds certain values.

3. You should also make sure the seller pays off any and all clients before closing, the title company will help make sure you get a ‘free and clear’ title if you communicate this to them. Some liens that the seller may pay off prior or at closing are items such as furnace or air conditioner, a pool or jacuzzi or it could be something completely different. You need to pay off this expense at least by closing, unless the lender allows for this and you are ok with taking over someone else's contract that might have inherited risks associated with it.

How to improve your debt-to-income ratio

If your debt-to-income ratio is too high, then you might not be able to qualify. You can improve it by increasing your income or paying off debts. If you are married and have a good job, then adding them to the loan you should then be able to add their income, which can help improve your debt-to-income ratio, depending on the situation. Another way to improve your debt-to-income ratio is to lower your overall debt. You can do it by paying off any credit card balances, vehicle, and student loans.


Many factors determine how much you should spend on your mortgage. If you cannot afford a home, then you should look for different housing options to consider until you are ready and feel more comfortable. Some people may not want a home and prefer to live in an apartment, and others may want to buy a condo or an individual home instead of buying a home in an apartment complex. Everyone has their own personal preference, but ultimately as long as you feel comfortable with your decision, then that is what should matter the most.