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What exactly does it take to buy a house? Whether it's your first home or you're making a change, the housing market and the process has changed a bit in the last few years. Buying a home in 2015 looks a little different than it did in 2005, just 10 years ago. What if you're buying your first home in 2015? Is it even more different than it was for first time home buyers 10 years ago? the answer is yes, you'll find a few things different. You'll also find some things have never changed.
It happens a lot. We'll see a contact form from a potential borrower that tells us "ACME Bank gave me mortgage pre-approval. But the house I want needs work and they don't do renovation loans." Don't worry, your home buying process isn't completely off the rails. We can help.
In today's housing market, making an offer on a house without mortgage pre-approval is like asking a woman to marry you without first meeting her parents. You need to make sure your ducks are in a row and you have the right blessings before you go in head first. It's true in marriages, and it's true in the home buying world.
In the aftermath of the credit crunch and the global recession, it is more important than ever to keep track of your credit score. Banks are more careful about extending credit, making a good credit score the foundation of major purchases like a new car or a first home. Frequent credit inquiries may negatively impact your credit score. A single inquiry linked to a request for credit can impact your score by as much as five points. Subsequent inquiries can also impact your score. Since home buyers need a good credit score to qualify for a mortgage, searching for mortgage pre-approval can be nerve-wracking.
The key to a successful house hunting mission is the mortgage pre-approval.
UPDATE: While somethings have changed, much of this information is still relevant to buying your first home in 2015. Check out our more recent blog post about tips and tricks for buying in 2015. Preparing now for your home buying adventure next year will help make the process easier, and will help you buy that house earlier in the year. If you get started with small steps now, you can become a 2013 first time home buyer with no real headaches. The Boy Scouts of America use this for part of their motto, but it works in the home buying world too: Be Prepared.