Blog

Welcome to the BeSmartee blog. Enjoy a wide selection of articles related to mortgages, the industry, and real estate.

7 Habits to Prepare You for Homeownership

By Veronica Nguyen · Sep 28, 2016 · Mortgage

7 Habits to Prepare You for Homeownership

Image courtesy of besmartee, besmartee

Become a homeowner by following these 7 habits.

7 Habits to Prepare You for Homeonership

1. Create a Budget

Creating a budget will discipline you to manage your money and control your spending. When you are ready to buy a home, you will have a clear picture of where your money is being spent. In your budget include expenses such as housing, transportation, food, debt, childcare, entertainment and any other expenses you may have. Don't forget to include 'down payment' savings as an item! To create a budget for free, try mint or any other free budgeting online apps.

2. Pay all Debts

As part of achieving your goal of becoming a homeowner, you have to make sure you are debt free, so you'll have a better chance of being approved for a loan. Some experts recommend you start paying your smallest debt first, than focus on the larger debts.

3. Improve Credit Score

If you haven't heard this before, the higher your credit score, the better the interest rate you will get. It's true! You will end up paying more if you have a low credit score. One way to stay on top of your credit score is to monitor your credit report, and if you have a low score, follow these hacks to help you improve your credit.

4. Save for a Down Payment

Part of creating a budget is to also allow you to save for a down payment so when it's time to buy, you are in a great position to pay for the down payment. Some mortgages are being offered at a low down payment of 3%, so make sure you talk to a mortgage professional as you get closer to applying for a home loan to see which mortgage best fits your needs.

5. Have an Emergency Fund

Aside from planning to save for a down payment, you should also put some money aside for an emergency. Some creative ways to build an emergency fund is to work as a freelancer to generate extra cash. Keep a savings account separate from your other accounts so that you are not tempted to use the money.

6. Know How Much you Can Afford

Once you have a clear picture of your finances, you can now go find out how much you can afford. By knowing the cost of your mortgage, you will be able to plan better for all the costs of being a homeowner. You can use a home affordability calculator to give you an idea of how much you can afford and what your monthly payment will be.

7. Have a Steady Income

Lenders want to lend money to people who have a steady income because it gives the lenders confidence you are able to repay the loan. Some lenders require two years of employment; those who are self-employed must show documentation of their earnings. Lenders will typically check for your income via tax returns.

Conclusion

Creating great habits to help you buy a home will prepare you to get a mortgage loan to buy the home you need. Creating a budget and following the plan will take time, but with constancy and discipline you will get there. The time it takes you to develop the 7 habits to help you buy a home will be entirely up to you.


Real Estate Commission: Explained, Revealed and Compared
By Arvin Sahakian · Aug 17, 2015 · Real Estate Data

Real estate agents receive commissions from home buyers and sellers, collectively earning over $50 Billion per year. Learn how commission amounts are set, who pays them, and how they work in this article. Read more.

197,736

California Property Tax: Complete List by County 2014-2015
By Tim Nguyen · Nov 26, 2014 · Real Estate Data

List of secured property tax rates for all counties of California fiscal year for 2014-2015. Read more.

126,863

California Proposition 60 and 90: Your Complete Guide
By Tim Nguyen · Nov 28, 2014 · Real Estate Data

If you live in California and are over the age of 55 you can effectively reduce your property taxes when buying a new home. Read more.

66,402

What to Expect During the Home Loan Closing Process
By Arvin Sahakian · Feb 24, 2015 · Mortgage

You've heard the term used before, but what does loan closing mean? Find out all you need to know about the process. Read more.

54,310

The Surge in Foreign Real Estate Investment in the United States
By Laura Agadoni · Feb 24, 2016 · Real Estate

Foreign real estate investment in the United States, both commercial and residential, is a huge phenomenon that is only expected to accelerate, maybe even to skyrocket, in 2016. Read more.

50,343

Houston vs. Dallas: Which One is Better to Live in?
By Amanda Curry · Oct 11, 2016 · Real Estate

Houston Vs. Dallas? If you are considering moving to either of these major metropolitan areas, we've created a resource to help you make the decision process a little easier. Read more.

49,087

5 Illegal Borrowing Activities: Things That Are Illegal When You Try to Get a Home Loan
By Laura Agadoni · Jan 22, 2016 · Mortgage

Whenever there is money to be made or money to be spent, some unscrupulous folks will take advantage, trying to game the system or commit all-out fraud. Read more.

48,433

Does Homeowners Insurance Pay Off your Mortgage if the House is Burned Down?
By Amanda Curry · Feb 8, 2017 · Mortgage

In this article, we explore how homeowners insurance works and what happens in the event of a house fire. Read more.

25,809

16 Ways to Improve Your Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio
By Veronica Nguyen · Nov 29, 2014 · Mortgage

Your DTI is used by mortgage lenders to determine whether you qualify for a loan, and if so, for how much. Improve your DTI with these 16 tips. Read more.

25,338

5 Tips on Getting a Mortgage Loan after Bankruptcy
By Veronica Nguyen · Apr 15, 2015 · Mortgage

A bankruptcy will make it very difficult to attain a home loan. These 5 tips will help you re-establish your credit quickly in order to qualify for a home loan. Read more.

20,782