Oftentimes house hunting is thought of as the first step to finding your dream home, however what many people seem to forget, is that there is a lot of work that takes place before the true house hunting begins. As tempting as it may be to dive in head first and start browsing online listings and searching for open houses, in order for your house hunting, and ultimately, your home buying experience to run as smoothly as possible, it is vital that you are prepared. There are a few different ways you can prep yourself to buy a home, use this buyers checklist to make sure that you’re ready to hit the market and find your dream home.


A First-Time Buyer’s Checklist: Before House HuntingFirst and foremost, you must prepare to buy a home. It isn’t as simple as house hunting and signing on the dotted line. While you’ll want to prepare mentally for the emotional journey ahead, there are actually quite a few documents that will be requested of you, and in an effort to help eliminate some of the stress, gathering these documents ahead of time can be an immense help. In most scenarios you’ll need to provide things such as:

  • Tax returns – previous 2-3 years
  • Bank statements – previous 3 months
  • Pay stubs – previous 3 months
  • Rental agreement – lease or mortgage statements
  • Bounced rent checks – show proof payments were made
  • Paid in full letters – credit cards, loans, car payments etc.
  • Credit Statements – any revolving debts, show in good standing with online payment history

Related: 3 Reasons Why Owning a Home is Better Than Renting


When was the last time you checked your credit? Chances are it’s been a while. Understanding your current credit score is vital in beginning the house hunting journey. You should monitor/check your credit, and see if there are any ways you can boost your score, whether by paying old collection debts, etc. While monitoring and improving your credit is beneficial, you’ll want to ensure that you aren’t running your credit or starting any new loans or credit accounts as this could hurt your chances of securing a home loan.

Related: 2 Tips to Help You Save for a Down Payment


A First-Time Buyer’s Checklist: Before House HuntingWe’ve all wanted to jump the gun and start browsing online listings the moment we get the idea of purchasing a new home; however, this is quite dangerous. By doing so, you could fall in love with a property without maintaining the needed documents and funds to purchase the property, and thus, end up watching your dream home sell to someone else. Luckily this is easily avoidable. Before you start house hunting, and before you start setting budgets, you want to go to a lender to get a pre-approval letter. This letter shows sellers that you can afford to purchase a home, can secure the needed financing, etc. While your pre-approval letter will indeed give you a “budget” of what you can afford, remember that this might not reflect your personal budget.

Related: Determining Your Wants vs. Needs When Buying a House

If you’re ready to start house hunting, are ready to sell your home and need a qualified seller’s agent to assist you, or if you have any further questions regarding New York Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time.

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