Whether you live and work in Minnesota or have plans to move there in the near future, you may be in the market for a new home. It could be that you are looking to relocate to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area or some smaller town or city like Champlin or Hugo. In any event, the steps you will take before actually buying a home will be much the same. Follow this very simple checklist and you will be on your way to owning a new home in a new location.
1. Get Your Credit Score in Order
Before you go any further, take the time to get your credit score from the three leading credit reporting agencies. There will always be a difference between scores you receive from TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Variations are largely due to the criteria they use to rate your score. Also, it depends on the number and quality of reports they receive from your creditors.
Once you have all three credit reports in hand, take steps to correct errors or satisfy debt as quickly as possible. Good credit scores are essential if you want good rates on mortgage loans and the best loans will take into consideration all three of your credit reports.
2. Prequalify for a Mortgage Loan
If you feel your credit score is acceptable, then it’s time to start looking. Bear in mind that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require a minimum score of 620 while the FHA backed loans must have a minimum score of 580. One thing you may want to do when looking to get a Minnesota mortgage loan is prequalify for a loan.
The mortgage lender who is willing to take the time to get to know you will put together a package that makes sense for you and your needs. Don’t settle for the first lender that prequalifies you. A better deal might be just around the corner. If you are comfortable with the lender, chances are good that they have your best interests at heart.
3. Find the Right Location
Then there is the location to think about. When house hunting, is the home you want close enough to your place of employment? Is the neighborhood safe and relatively crime free? If you have children, are the schools rated highly and are there places for your children to play safely? Look at parks and recreational facilities in the area to ensure your kids will have a safe place to get together with friends and/or play after school. Here is where that old real estate mantra is of prime importance. It can’t be stressed enough just how critical “Location, Location, Location” really is when house hunting.
Yes, the type and size home you desire are important, but finding the right location and price are equally important. It doesn’t matter how much you love any given house. If you can’t satisfy these three steps, you probably won’t get a house after all. Follow these steps and you’re on your way to finding a new home in Minnesota.