Minding Your Money
A Common Cents Guide to Buying a Home
Summary of key steps:
- Is now the right time to buy? Do you plan to stay put for five years or more? Do you have a steady income?
- Make sure renting doesn’t make more financial sense.
- Have you saved enough for a down payment?
- Check your credit report and FICO score online.
- Buy a home you can truly afford. Follow the 28/36 rule. Consider all home-related expenses, including property taxes and insurance.
- Avoid tapping retirement money for a home purchase.
- Ask around to find a lender that’s a good fit for you. Consider a mortgage broker.
- What type of mortgage is right for you?
- Get preapproved for a mortgage.
- Keep closing costs in mind. Try negotiating them away.
- Find a qualified, highly recommended home inspector.
- Set aside enough money every year to cover home maintenance costs.
- Love your home!