If you’ve been renting and waiting to buy your first home, now is a good time to make your move.
A number of industry analysts predict that interest rates will rise slightly over the year, while continuing to stay very affordable. Home prices are also expected to rise, now that more buyers are again competing for houses for sale.
But rental rates are rising and expected to continue to rise even more—as much as 20% in some communities—making it smart and cost-effective for first-time buyers especially to consider home ownership. Real estate website Trulia found it is cheaper to buy than to rent in each of the nation’s 100 biggest metropolitan areas.
If you’re thinking about making the big move, do this now:
* Check your credit reports for accuracy. Go to annualcreditreport.com and request your free credit report. If you find errors or omissions, fix the problems as soon as possible.
* Review your savings. You will need money for a down payment as well as for the transition expenses of moving and setting up a new house. If your savings aren’t up to snuff, make that your priority for the next several months.
* Talk to a GNO Federal Credit Union home loan officer about prequalifying for a loan. This is the step just ahead of preapproval—it makes it possible for you to begin shopping for a house with your eyes wide open about what you can really afford. Your loan officer can help you prepare for the home buying process and help you line up your finances for success.
Copyright 2017 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.