Merit Real Estate

Preparing to Buy a Home

You’ve decided that it’s time for you to purchase your first home. Now what? Now it is time to start preparing to buy a home. Being a first-time homebuyer is one of the most exciting and uncertain times of your life. We want to make sure that you’re 100% prepared for this life-changing moment so that it’s a huge blessing for you!

Improve Your Credit

Improving your credit score early is one of the best things you can do for your chances of getting a wonderful home that you can afford at a low-interest rate. How? First, pay off any outstanding bills or unpaid debts. Second, pay off any revolving consumer debt (like credit cards). Finally, make paying down any student or automotive loans your number one job. Once you start doing these things, your score should improve quite a bit. Time will gradually make your score better and better.

Preparing to buy a home

Determine What You Can Afford

Write out your budget as it currently stands and determine what you can and are willing to pay for. Be sure to do this before you get pre-approved and stick to your guns. The bank may tell you that you can afford more than you really can, so be sure to put your foot down on excessive spending.

Save for Your Down Payment & Closing

In total, you will likely need anywhere between five and 20 percent of your purchase price for a down payment and an additional two to five percent for closing costs. Be sure to have this saved in advance so that when you find your dream home you’re ready to make an offer right away.

Preparing to buy a home

Build a Savings

Once you purchase your home, it’s important that you have cash reserves. For starters, you’ll want between three and 10 percent of your home purchase cost for home repairs at all times. Second, an emergency fund of three to six months of household expenses in a reserve account will keep you from having an emergency that will prevent you from making your mortgage payments.

Get Pre-Approved

It’s time! Call a lender and obtain pre-approval. offers the lowest mortgage rates as they currently stand, but you may also want to enlist the help of a mortgage broker to find the lender who’s right for you.

To learn more about the services that Merit Real Estate has to offer, visit us online at or call 310-379-4444 today!