buying propertyEveryone, at one point in their life, wants to purchase property. Whether it’s your first home or an investment property, the procedure is always daunting as the rules and requirements are constantly changing, especially after the economic crisis of 2008.

Before you start to prepare to buy property, you must decide what kind of property you want to buy. A house, condo, co-op, mobile home or even a boat. All have the basic common expenses like mortgage, insurance, property taxes and water charges, but some have additional fees necessary because of the kind of property it is. Examples of these charges are housing association fees, board fees, storage room fees, carport fees, amenities fees, parking fees, pier/docking fees and maintenance fees, to name a few. Also keep in mind that your insurance rates will also be based on the kind of property being purchased.

Once you have decided what kind of property you want to purchase, you must do a “credit freeze”. You don’t have to actually freeze your credit file, but you shouldn’t apply for any new credit, not even for a car, for at least twelve (12) months prior to you making the purchase. Opening new lines of credit can hurt your credit scores. Every time your credit is checked by a lender/creditor, a new inquiry gets added to your credit reports, regardless of approval. If the credit is granted, you are increasing your financial liability. Too many lines of credit makes you look vulnerable to lenders, always remember, you are judged by what’s in your credit reports.

You should work on your improving your credit file. Mortgage rates can fluctuate depending on the number of charge-offs, collection accounts, late payments and other negative information that can be found in your credit reports. Working with a credit consultant can help you achieve an optimal credit file by making plans and setting you up with financial goals. The credit consultant will assist you in clearing as much erroneous and incorrect information off your credit reports as possible, as well as teach you how to set up a budget and plan that works around your specific situation. With good credit and scores, you can receive low mortgage and insurance rates, the biggest monthly expenses a homeowner has. Why not ensure you receive the best rates possible by hiring a credit consultant to help you.

The credit consultant will also help you find ways to save additional money every month. Even if you are financing the purchase 100%, you must always be prepared for any incidental costs that may arise from the purchase. As a paralegal for over 15 years, I have seen real estate transactions fall apart at the closing table because the buyer could not pay for a certified land survey, they had open parking violations that had to be paid before the documents are signed, or there was a shortfall in the financing and the gap could not be covered. As a buyer, you are taking on a huge responsibility and as such you must be prepared for anything.

Buying property is a very rewarding experience and at that moment in the closing, when those keys are handed to you, a feeling of accomplishment and pride flows through you. It’s an incredible feeling, one that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. If you are a future home buyer and want to discuss your credit, please feel free to contact me.

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