When I rented my first apartment in Astoria, I did not want to be a Tenant my whole life and pay my Landlordâ€™s mortgage. I longed to become a Homeowner.
Thatâ€™s why I found my way into the mortgage business in 1989 and soon afterward became a Homeowner. Here are the fundamentals any Tenant should know to prepare to become a Homeowner in the future, no matter when that might be.
â€¢ Credit: Establish 3 credit accounts, no more than 5. Pay your bills on time. Keep your balances to no more than 50% of your credit limit. Donâ€™t pay off the accounts in full. Keep balances active for 12-24 months. All of the above will provide both a good credit score and adequate credit history to qualify for a mortgage loan.
â€¢ Assets: A basic savings budget isnâ€™t hard to do. Pay your rent first in your budget; then set aside 10% of your income before taxes . Make it a budget priority and youâ€™ll still have money left over for entertainment and restaurants and clothing.
How much money do you need to buy a home? Many buyers spend no more than $25,000 to buy their first homes. There are loan programs with low down payment requirements and many real estate agents negotiate for their Buyers a â€œSellerâ€™s concessionâ€ to include the Buyerâ€™s closing costs (which are HIGH here in New York!) in the price of the home.
â€¢ Income: Two years consistent income is the basic requirement for either a salaried individual or a self-employed person. Income from Bonus, Commission, and Overtime is treated differently and is best discussed with your Mortgage Banker.
â€¢ Market Survey: it doesnâ€™t hurt to go out and get to know neighborhoods where you might like to buy a home. Visit open houses on Saturdays and Sundays. Itâ€™s okay that youâ€™re not yet buying; tell the Realtor at the Open House youâ€™re just beginning your â€œsurvey.â€ Youâ€™ll also get to know market prices for different kinds of homes. Itâ€™s okay to â€œwindow shopâ€ homes on the weekend at Open Houses!
I hope these fundamentals will help you better understand the path to homeownership is a process that, with preparation and dedication, you can move through easily. And if youâ€™re interested in getting Prequalified today to create an Action Plan for your future of Homeownership, call me anytime!
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Good luck in your search.
The Property Matchmaker