Anybody can be a homeowner. In this new series, I’ll go in-depth on how you can start implementing the necessary steps in order to achieve that goal.

Before you meet with a lender to get pre-approved and before you meet with a Realtor to look at houses, the most important thing you need to do is check your budget. Do you have any debt? Do you have any money saved up? Do you have any credit? If your answer to these questions is no, don’t worry! That’s why I’ll be walking you through this process.

If you’re looking to buy a home in the near future, possibly within the next two years, I always first advise people to get a job, if they don’t already have one. Banks really like for loan applicants to have a two-year duration of employment, so as long as you don’t have a three- to six-month gap in your employment, you should be okay.

Once you’ve got a job, it’s a good idea to save up some money. This is very important, considering the closing costs, down payment, deposit, and the inspection contingencies you’ll have to pay down the road.

“If you are planning to use a cosigner, speak to them ahead of time, because this will work best if the two of you work together and support each other.”

At the same time, keep an eye on your credit score. If you don’t have any credit, I suggest that you apply for a secured credit card, which functions like a debit card, but as you use it, it builds up your credit. With this card, you only spend what you put into it. After using this card for six months or so, your credit score should be established, and you might be in good enough condition to speak with a lender about your pre-approval.

Before getting to the pre-approval process, though, think about who else will be involved in this transaction. Is it just you, or do you have a spouse, kids, or a parent who will be with you? Do you plan to have a cosigner? If you are planning to use a cosigner, speak to them ahead of time, because this will work best if the two of you work together and support each other. Even if you do everything right between now and when it’s time to start the ball rolling on your home purchase, if your cosigner doesn’t also do those things, they might not qualify the same way you do. If you’re dependent on that cosigner, you’ll then have to work backward to get them up to scratch, financially speaking.

While doing all this, you’ll also want to think about tackling your outstanding debt. Depending on what it is, you might not need to tackle anything in order to qualify for a home loan, so be sure to speak with a local lender. They can help give you advice about how you can pay down whatever debts will be holding you back from becoming a homeowner.

After you’ve addressed all these factors, you’re now ready to speak with a lender or Realtor (like myself). Next in the process, you’ll want to think about all your wants and needs when it comes to the type of home you’re looking to buy, how much you can afford on a monthly basis, and so on. I’ll go more in-depth on that topic in the next video of this series.

In the meantime,  if you have any questions about today’s topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be glad to help.