Tip #1: Keep Your Money Where It Is
If you are looking to buy a home and want to qualify for a mortgage, then you need to show lenders that you are reliable and consistent. About 6 months prior to beginning the lender application process, you need to stabilize your spending, not accumulate any new debt, and generally work to protect and enhance your credit profile.
Tip #2: Get Pre-Approved
There is a big difference between being pre-qualified and being pre-approved in that anyone can get pre-qualified but someone who is pre-approved means that they have had a lender look at their finances and been told approximately what they are going to get for a loan. This will save you a lot of time, energy, and headache because you will know what your price range is and you will know what properties to look at so you do not waste time looking at properties above your price range.
Tip #3: Timing Is Not Everything
If you obsess over trying to time the market to get the best deal, you are going to be waiting for a very long time. It is impossible to anticipate the housing market, which means the best time to buy a house is when you find the house you want. Remember, real estate has cycles of being way up and then way down, so waiting for the perfect time may mean you actually end up missing it.
Tip #4: You Are Buying A House – You Are Not Dating It
If you buy a house based purely on emotion, then you are going to set yourself up for a lot of heartache. Always remember that there is a big difference between emotion and instinct and that by going with your instincts, you are recognizing that you are getting a great house at a good value. Making a buying decision based off of emotion is buying something you may not be able to afford because you love the paint or the backyard. Keep emotions at bay when making a buying decision like this one; they will only set you up for failure.