Times have been difficult. Some say times are as difficult as the depression era and some say it is worse. It is certainly like no time we’ve experienced. However, there is still a great deal to be thankful for. Although many are on unemployment and many may fear that they will soon receive the dreaded pink slip, we are still blessed to wake up each morning, eat breakfast and/or make breakfast for our families before we head off to work or school. Despite all of the difficulty, there are still those of us who want to become a homeowner for all sorts of reasons. There is no reason to give up on your dream of homeownership, but there will be some things that you will have to do differently that you will want to consider before you start on your journey of your first home or your next home.
The first factor to consider is your credit score. Although credit has always been a major factor in your ability to get a mortgage, the result of the 2007 economic downturn has made the credit score you need to qualify go up. For example, in 2006 borrowers needed a 620 score to get the best rates. By May 2008 the score you need is 760 or higher to get the best rates. That represents an increase of 140 points. (1)
The second factor to consider is your employment situation. Do you live in a city dependent on a single company or industry that could be vulnerable to real estate downturns? Be sure to investigate an area’s fundamental economy before making a purchase. For example, do you work in an industry that could be more vulnerable to an economic downturn like Las Vegas, NV who largely employees casino workers.
The third factor to consider is your health. That’s right. Your health. All of this stress could and will to some extent take a toll on your health. Are you already overweight? Did your doctor advise you to watch your cholesterol? Did your cardiologist tell you to watch what you eat and cut down on the fat in your diet? Well, are you listening? The extra stress that we take on from worrying about whether or not we’re going to get the pink slip can be terrible on your immune system. And if you’re sick, how are you going to go to work everyday and be your best? Making your health a priority in addition to your credit score and employment situation will help you to overcome stress. Put together an exercise plan. Ten minutes a day can make a big difference. Getting up ten minutes earlier in the morning to stretch or walk in place can make the difference in your level of stress killing you or keeping you here. Pay your bills on time and admit your financial truth – Are you ready for a house? If not, no problem— just plan.
(1).Buying a House in the New Economy – Buyers Advice- Brandon Cornett