Thursday, April 11, 2002
More Bang for Your Buck: Owning a Home
Owning a home, for many it seems the unattainable American dream. But with a little planning that goal is certainly within reach.
(WSVN) Owning a home, for many it seems the unattainable American dream. But with a little planning that goal is certainly within reach.
After all, it is the biggest investment of your life.
Joseph Long, mortgage banker says, "It's a big step, get ready!"
Joseph Long, of Countrywide Homes says focussing on your credit report before you buy a home is crucial.
What you should do right now: check your credit reports, dispute any discrepencies, pay down debt., pay all your bills on time, every month.
He says, "Time's your friend now. Be rigid about making those payments on time."
The next step, get pre-approved for a mortgage.
"Go through a lender and get pre-approved. See where you stand now, it doesn't hurt. Most lenders will not charge you anything. If they are, find somebody else."
Pre-approval will not only tell you what you can afford but ensure you're taken seriously by the sellers and real estate brokers.
Robin Drill of Fannie Mae says to make pre approval easier ...start saving documents.
"You're going to walk into a loan officers office and that person is going to ask you for a bunch of information which is going to seem overwhelming."
But if you're prepared it won't be. Collect your pay stubs, copies of recent tax returns, banking & investment statements and start putting money in the piggy bank.
You want to start saving now!
Ideally you want to put 20% down, but you can put down less. Once you're pre-approved, hook up with a realtor and focus on homes in your price range.
He says, "Owning a home is the way Americans accumulate wealth."
"It's nice to control your own world."
And owning a home actually saves you money. There are tax breaks, often your mortgage is less than your rent and it's an investment that will grow.
If you're still intimidated remember this; "You don't know until you try. A lot of people don't try because they think they can't."
Everyone we talked to said "you can" and it's easier than you think! Fannie Mae suggests taking a class for first time home buyers. The more you know about the process the more you'll save!
(Copyright 2002 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)