Three things you need to know before buying a home

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So, you’re away on the most amazing trip, and you’re also planning to secure a new home, either here or when you get back on familiar soil? Woo hoo! Only problem is, you don’t know where to start on this next adventure.

There are some aspects that you’ll need to start thinking about – or even sort out – while you’re still away. So make sure you’re prepared in order to take the best steps in this exciting stage of your life.

Check your finances

This might be an obvious one, but it’s worth sitting down and trying to work out what you can realistically afford for your property purchase. Your first consideration should be to check your credit score (if you don’t know it already).

If it’s not particularly high, then try to improve it as much as you can. The better your credit score, the easier it will be for you to get a loan to buy your new home. You should also have a look at your savings, and see what you can use as your down payment on your property. This may then determine what you can afford to buy.

Bear in mind, that many expect to pay between 5% and 20% of a property’s value as down payment.

Get pre-approval for a loan

This will help you to speed up the process of purchasing a property once you’ve found the perfect one for you. It means you should be able to get a loan so long as your financial situation doesn’t change. You may have to give a lender information such as your employment details, current income, and credit to verify what you can afford.

Getting pre-approval for a loan may also help you when you decide to put an offer in for a property. The current owners will want to know how suitable you are to proceed with the purchase, and will be more comfortable knowing that a potential buyer won’t get turned down for a loan.

Have a look around when you are deciding which lender you want to go with, too. There are many that will provide home loans in San Diego and many other US cities, so you will have the opportunity to get the best deal for you.

Do your research

Once you know what your property budget is, then have a look at the area where you want to buy a property, and keep a keen eye on the market. You can see what types of properties are available to you on your budget, and you can track what happens with prices concerning demand and fluctuation – these will tell you what the trends are in the places you’re interested in.

Also consider your long-term plans. Think about whether you will want to stay in your current job, or get married, or have children – the life you have now might be perfect for the property you want to buy now, but it might not be adequate for you in a few years’ time.

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About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

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