Buying a new home is a big decision. But it’s also an exciting one. After all, homeownership has a number of benefits, including the opportunity to build equity, protection from monthly rent increases and the freedom to alter your living space to reflect your unique design style.
There are a few important steps prospective homebuyers should take before purchasing a new home:
Define your budget
How much home can you realistically afford? Generally, your housing costs shouldn’t exceed 31% percent of your gross income, according to some financial consultants. However, you should also consider additional expenses, such as car and credit card payments, when determining how much you’re willing and able to spend on a mortgage. If you don’t already have a budget, take some time to familiarize yourself with your monthly expenses, and decide on a payment that feels comfortable.
Check your credit reports
Your credit score helps lenders determine your credit worthiness, and, ultimately, your interest rate. Even if your credit score seems high, errors on your reports may be weighing it down. It’s a good idea to contact all three major credit reporting agencies for reports because they collect information separately and may report different errors.
In addition to resolving any outstanding credit errors and paying your bills on time, you can help maintain good credit during the mortgage application process by keeping old accounts open, holding off on major purchases and refraining from applying for new credit cards or loans.
Stash your cash
Start saving. To purchase a new home, you’ll need money for a down payment and closing costs. This can amount to at least 3.5 percent of the home’s purchase price for a down payment and between 3 and 5 percent of the home’s purchase price for closing costs, depending on the terms of your loan.
Still a little short? Even though you can’t borrow money for a down payment, you will typically be allowed to accept funds in the form of a gift from a relative. Also, keep an eye out for special offers, like closing cost assistance, from builders, such as Richmond American Homes.
Do your research
Be an informed buyer. The internet is a great place to start. Go online to research homebuilders, new communities, floor plans and listings. You can also look up tax information and explore market trends by neighborhood or zip code. This can help you narrow down your desired location and devise a wish list of must-have features for your new home.
Have your finances in check? Then it’s time to buy your Tucson-area dream home. Richmond American has three beautiful new communities in Rancho Sahuarita, one of the most sought-after master plans in Arizona. Presidio Coronado, Presidio Del Norte and Presidio San Xavier offer exceptional ranch and two-story floor plans with abundant amenities, including a 15-acre lake park with amphitheater, neighborhood parks, multiple pools, private splash park and state-of-the-art fitness center. Residents will also appreciate easy access to popular schools, shopping, dining and more. For more information about these incredible communities, call 520-498-4155 or visit RichmondAmerican.com.