The 2 questions to ask yourself this year:

*#1 Are you READY to start a home search?*

- Have you paid attention to your credit rating; correcting any errors or doing any necessary housecleaning to increase your credit score?
- Have you been fattening up the savings account in preparation of down payment and closing costs?

Maybe you are starting right now – the beginning, a great place to start your planning! When was the last time you looked at your credit score? The higher that number the lower interest you could be enjoying on your home mortgage. There are many ways to increase that number:

- Pay down existing credit card debt
- Clear up any errors
- Check out these suggestions as well –
and there are plenty more suggestions you can access online to see where
you may need to make changes to bring that score up as high as it can go.
(To check your current credit score, try a free site like Credit Karma

*#2 Is it time to talk to a Realtor?*

There are several good reasons to have a professional working with you right from the beginning, no matter where you are in the planning process.We know how easy it is to search homes online, however, there is valuable information you may not even be aware you need that can be provided by your local real estate professional.
Here are 5 things to consider:

1. Your agent knows the recent market values where you are searching and can provide guidelines for pricing your offer
2. Your agent will walk you through the process from start to finish, lowering stress levels along the way
3. Your agent has the skill and objectivity needed to successfully negotiate a best price and terms contract on your behalf
4. Your agent knows what the particulars are in your local marketplace and can provide inside insights
5. The paperwork! The laws and regulations seem to grow continually and your agent is up to date on all the contract specifics to complete your transaction

Even if you are still working on the first question, having an agent on board to answer questions, guide you through the steps of the processes leading to your purchase and bounce your thoughts and ideas off of while still in the decision making stage will make the whole process that much easier!
*Connect now *to begin your journey into home ownership!