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Buying a home is a goal many people want to accomplish this year, and the good news is that it is easy to accomplish with a little planning. It’s never too early to start making baby steps towards buying your first home by informing yourself and starting a savings plan. If you already know that homeownership is one of your future goals, here are some easy ways you can lay the groundwork now.

1. Start Deciding on a Price Range

A large factor in your home search is how much you can afford. Most experts recommend that you spend around 25 percent of your income on housing. Using this ratio, calculate how much you can afford to spend on your mortgage monthly.

2. Take a Look At Your Credit

When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will look at your credit to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for approval. Pull your credit report and look for any discrepancies you can have removed or any debts you can start paying off.

3. Build Up a Move In Fund

There are a few expenses that you can anticipate around the time you actually purchase and move into a home. Closing costs have to be paid when you close on the purchase of your home and can include:

  • Origination fees charged by the lender
  • Title fees
  • Taxes and insurance

On top of closing costs, you can expect to put money out for movers, repairs, and new furnishings. Saving up a little at a time now will help you be prepared when it’s time to purchase.

4. Narrow Down Your Search Radius

Start looking at the neighborhoods where you may want to purchase and see which ones you may end up crossing off your list. Certain communities have homeowners association laws and fees that you may find restrictive, while others may end up being too far of a commute from your job or too traffic-heavy for your personal taste. Eliminating these contenders from your list now will save you time and effort when you start looking.

5. Get Ready for The Added Cost and Responsibility

Owning a home is very different from renting, and comes with a completely new set of responsibilities. Once you are in your own place, there is no property owner to call when something goes wrong. You can prepare by learning to do small repairs and home improvements by yourself, and informing yourself about the signs of damages around the home so you can spot them.

If you are ready to start looking for your first home, the Core Group can help. Click here to find out more about how we can help you find a home in the Central Florida area.