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(720) 253‑8513‬ rogelio@vidabroker.com
Avoid this if you want to buy a home!

 

Embarking on the journey to homeownership is exhilarating but filled with intricacies, particularly for first-time buyers navigating the competitive housing market. My experience, alongside insights from industry experts, underscores the importance of strategic planning and avoiding common pitfalls. Reflecting on the steps leading to successful homeownership, I’ve identified five critical actions prospective buyers should refrain from, especially within the year preceding their purchase.

1. Don’t Finance Large Purchases Before Buying a Home

One of the most pivotal pieces of advice I can offer is to avoid taking on significant financial commitments, such as financing a car or large household items, before securing your mortgage. I learned that these decisions directly impact your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), a crucial factor lenders examine to gauge your borrowing capability. New debts can make you appear a riskier borrower, potentially derailing your mortgage approval process. The consensus among experts, like those at The Mortgage Reports, is clear: keep your financial obligations minimal to preserve your loan eligibility​​.

2. Don’t Max Out Your Credit Cards

Another vital strategy is managing your credit utilization. High balances on your credit cards can significantly lower your credit score, affecting not only your eligibility for a mortgage but also the terms and rates you’ll receive. The advice here is straightforward yet profound: keep your credit card balances well below their limits, ideally under 30% of your total credit limit. This practice is not just about maintaining a healthy credit score; it’s about positioning yourself to secure the best possible loan terms​​. If I were to tell you what’s a good FICO score to shoot for, it would be 660. Can you still buy with a lower score? Yes. Is it better to have a higher score? Yes.  This score starts opening up the options to conventional financing, down payment programs while still leaving the door open to an FHA loan. One last point on credit cards: Do not confuse getting more credit with getting into more debt!

3. Don’t Assume You Need a 20% Down Payment

The traditional advice of needing a 20% down payment for a home purchase is so outdated. While it’s true that a larger down payment can save you from paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), there are numerous loan programs available that require far less upfront, making homeownership more accessible. Exploring options like VA loans, FHA loans, and some conventional mortgages that require as little as 3% down was an eye-opener. This realization significantly expanded many of my clients’ perspective on how achievable homeownership can be, even for those without a hefty savings account​​ or having mom and pops that can come to the rescue. In fact, we can look at down payment assistance programs to do just that!

4. Don’t Quit Your Job or Switch Careers

Job stability is a cornerstone of mortgage approval. Throughout my journey, I understood the importance of demonstrating a steady source of income. Lenders value predictability; a recent career change, especially to a commission-based role or an entirely new field, can complicate the approval process. The general guideline is to maintain consistent employment for at least two years in the same line of work. This consistency reassures lenders of your financial stability and commitment to meeting your mortgage obligations​​.

5. Not Seeking Professional Advisors on Time

A critical lesson I learned is the significance of engaging with professional advisors early in the home-buying process. Mortgage brokers, real estate agents, and financial planners can offer invaluable guidance tailored to your specific situation. They can navigate you through the complexities of mortgage options, property searches, and financial planning to ensure you’re making informed decisions. Failure to seek out these professionals timely can leave you navigating a complex market alone, potentially leading to costly missteps.

Navigating the path to homeownership is a multifaceted journey that requires careful planning and informed decision-making. By steering clear of these common pitfalls and seeking the right professional advice, you position yourself for a smoother and more successful home-buying experience. Remember, the goal is not just to buy a house but to secure a home that meets your needs without compromising your financial health. As I reflect on my journey and the wisdom shared by industry experts, I’m reminded that the dream of homeownership is within reach, provided we approach it with diligence, patience, and the right guidance. SI SE PUEDE, YES YOU CAN!

 

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