4 Key Steps to Homeownership

Spring is the start of homebuying season, and if you’re gearing up for this big purchase, you aren’t alone.

Choosing both your mortgage and your perfect home is very important, and should be done with care and contemplation. Follow these four tips to get the most out of your home purchase this year.

Strengthen That Credit Score

Many people are confused about their credit score and how to strengthen it. Since looking for a home can take anywhere from one to three months on average, it could pay off to use that time to strengthen your credit score, especially if it means getting a lower mortgage rate. Although not every lender is the same, a strong credit score can cut as much as half a percent from your rate.

A CNE homeownership counselor can provide guidance on what to do to boost a credit score while shopping for a home, or check out our blog “Understanding Your Credit Score.”

Shop Around for a Mortgage

Not every lender offers the same mortgage rate, so shopping around is essential; however, according to data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, nearly half of people who apply for a mortgage don’t shop around. Failing to do so could be expensive month after month, and really add up after several years.

As important as it is to obtain the best mortgage rate, it’s also crucial to be aware of fees charged by mortgage lenders. If you have questions about your mortgage options, schedule an appointment with CNE’s Community Mortgage Advisor (423.567.3552).

Choose Your Home Carefully

With a strong mortgage approval letter in hand at a rate you love, it’s time to find your home. When searching for a home, it pays to stay flexible. Keep your list of must-haves front and center, but make sure that the items are, in fact, necessities and not luxuries.

Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate!

Unless you’re buying in the most heated and competitive markets, there is always room for negotiation. Whether you’re negotiating price or whether or not the seller will pay a portion of closing costs, approaching the seller with a list of things you want is something everyone should do.  Remember, the seller wants to sell, and you want to buy. Successful home purchases that work for both sides are made in the middle.

Following these tips and working with the team at CNE will help you successfully find your home sweet home. Schedule an appointment with our Homeownership Center to get on your way!