Are You Ready For Homeownership? Find Out Now


If you are dreaming about buying a home you have the ability to turn that dream into reality. The first step in the process of homeownership is doing a quick assessment of your financial situation.

Start Your Financial Assessment

Here are a few questions to help you assess your finances.

  • Do I pay my bills on time?
  • Is my credit history good?
  • Do I have a steady income?
  • How long have I been at my current job?
  • How much are my monthly consumer debt obligations? (ex. car, student loans, credit cards)
  • Where will my down payment come from?
  • How much will my new monthly housing payment be?

Your answers to these financial questions are the basis for obtaining a loan. However, you don’t need to panic if you think you have unsatisfactory answers. Every loan request is unique and lenders take several things into account when looking at them. It is their job to know the guidelines and then see how they can best position you to fit into those guidelines. They are there to advocate on your behalf to help you get qualified for the loan.

Financial Assessment Homeownership

Next Steps on Finances

Ideally, you want your credit score to be in the ballpark of 620 or higher. However, there are no hard and fast rules as there are exceptions to most items. If there is derogatory credit then it is in your best interest to fix it. This is an opportunity to contact a lender so that they can walk you through improving your credit step-by-step.

If you recently started a new job, that can be ok as long as you have remained in the same field of work. Lenders look at the last 2 years of your work history. If you are a recent graduate and therefore don’t have any substantial credit history, the lender can make the case to use the new salary for qualifying.

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Here are some general rules of thumb for good financial health.

  • Have no collection accounts.
  • Keep outstanding balances owed low, relative to the maximum credit line limit
  • Have regular credit activity.

You can achieve regular credit activity by using your credit cards, making payments on time, and paying your balances in full when possible. Younger buyers need to be visible to credit agencies for more than a year by having four credit accounts for lenders to get a clear picture of payment history. Consider having a gas card, store card, credit card, and car loan.

Other steps are to stay employed, increase your income, decrease your spending, increase your savings, and PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME! Lenders look at several different aspects of your financial situation when determining your loan options. It is best to call a lender as soon as you have a spark of interest in purchasing a home because they can help you create an actionable plan to get you on the path to homeownership.

Home Buying 101: Preparing Your Finances

For more information on preparing your finances for buying a home, please watch the video below. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our Home Buying 101 series too!

Other Resources on Finances and Homeownership:

Still Have More Questions?

We know that homeownership can be a costly and complicated process. That’s what we’re here for! We can refer you to the right lender who will evaluate your financial situation. Then, they can either help you set a budget for buying a home or if you’re not ready yet, help set you on a path for improving your finances. To get started, reach out to us! We’re happy to help you make your homeownership dreams a reality! Fill out the form below or give us a call at 562.896.2456.

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About the Author

Shannon Jones has been selling real estate since 1998 and specializes in listing and marketing homes. She has consistently been one of the top Realtors in the Long Beach area. Prior to her award-winning career in real estate with the Shannon jones Team, Shannon has had successful careers in journalism and public relations. She holds a bachelors degree from UC Irvine and a masters degree from UC Berkeley. Shannon holds E-Pro, CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert), and PSC (Pre-Foreclosure Specialist) certifications. Shannon is very personable and maintains a very strong moral compass, always putting the best interest of home buyers/sellers above monetary goals. A California native, Shannon enjoys gardening, travel, reading, cooking and poker when she’s not selling homes MY DESIGNATIONS Lic# 01247705 | CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) | E-Pro | PSC (Pre-Foreclosure Specialist) MY SERVICE AREAS Anaheim Bellflower Buena Park Carson Cerritos Cypress Downey Fountain Valley Garden Grove Huntington Beach La Palma Lakewood Long Beach Los Alamitos Los Angeles County Norwalk Orange County Rossmoor San Pedro Seal Beach Signal Hill South Bay Westminster

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