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Be Prepared for Homeownership
There’s a lot involved in buying a home. It takes months of planning and preparation. Here are some ways to get prepared for homeownership.
Take a homebuyer education class.
Homebuyer education can be a powerful tool for helping you get your financial footing when preparing for homeownership. A housing counselor can explain what documents you will need for the homebuying process. They can also help you make a budget and refer you to helpful, local resources.
For Maryland Mortgage Program loans, completing homebuyer education is a requirement. Classes can be taken in person or online. Beginning Oct. 1, loan recipients can take an online HUD-approved homebuyer education program for a loan associated with a HUD-approved product. Additionally, a homebuyer education program certificate approved in one county can be used in another county. For homebuyer education classes in your area go to https://mmp.maryland.gov/Pages/homebuyer-education.aspx.
Get your finances in order.
Review your credit report to be sure it’s accurate. If there are discrepancies, get them taken care of before getting your loan. A lender, such as one of our state-approved Maryland Mortgage Program lenders, can help you get started with this step and tell you exactly which documents and information you need. For a list of approved lenders, go to https://mmp.maryland.gov/Pages/Find-A-Lender.aspx.
Develop a wish list and prioritize it.
Your dream home is out there. Creating a wish list and prioritizing it will help you identify the type of house you want and even location in which you want to live. Most homebuyers want certain features in the kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and baths. Do you want an open floor plan or an eat-in kitchen? Do you need a one- or two- car garage? Or is street parking fine? Do you need two bathrooms or will one suffice?
Location can make a difference in price and on your wish list. Define the area you want to live in by ZIP code or highlight the neighborhood you are interested in on a map. If you have children, you may want to live in a certain school district. Do you want to live near a park or is right in the middle of downtown better for you? Finalizing your needs and wants, before you go home shopping, can save you time, money, and patience.
The Maryland Mortgage Program can help you prepare for homeownership by connecting you with lenders to get you started. Go to mmp.maryland.gov for more information.