How to Avoid Damaging your New Home While Moving

There is a lot of activity happening on moving day. With so many people coming and going throughout your home carrying large and heavy items, some damage can happen to your home. Here are some of our best tips so you can avoid damaging your furniture and your new Hayden home on moving day.

Prepare in advance

Most damage happens when we’re rushing. Planning and preparing for your move in advance are the best ways to avoid rushing on moving day. Pack as much as possible and declutter before moving day. Here are some more ways you can prepare for your upcoming move.

While your furniture obviously fits your current home, that may not be the case for your new home. Measure the doorways, hallways, stairways, and your furniture to make sure you have enough space to move your belongings through. This will also enable you to come up with a contingency plan in case something won’t fit.

Cover walls

Walls and corners are especially vulnerable on moving day. Thankfully there are a lot of different ways you can protect these fragile surfaces. Avoid wearing rings and loose chains so you don’t risk rubbing them against the wall. You can cover your walls with drop clothes, cardboard, or even bubble wrap to prevent scratches, holes, and other bumps and bruises. Wrapping bulky items and taking your time moving heavy or large furniture items provide additional protection from dings and nicks.

Protect floors and staircase

There’s a lot of activity happening on moving day. Protect your carpet and floors by covering high-traffic areas with some self-adhesive plastic coverings. This will keep your carpet clean from dirty shoes, tears, and spills. Cardboard or felt are great options to protect hardwood floors. If you have stairs, be sure to add a nonslip runner and cover the banister with moving blankets.

Your moving company may provide removable runners and floor coverings but you can also purchase floor coverings from a home improvement store.

Don’t forget the door frames!

Trying to maneuver a large piece of furniture through a tight door frame is always tricky. Even the most careful mover can accidentally bump the door frame. Avoid dings and dents by covering the door frame with moving blankets or door jamb protectors.

Carry large items

Resist the urge to slide heavy items, like furniture, across the floor. Instead, carry them or use a dolly or hand truck to move heavier items through the house. Make sure there are enough people to move especially heavy or awkward items. If possible, dissemble larger objects and carry it out piece by piece. If you must slide something, use moving blankets or pads to minimize damage.

Use a spotter

It’s difficult seeing where you’re going through a narrow doorway or tight staircase when you’re carrying something large. Have a spotter to help you navigate through these tricky areas.

Use a professional for specialty items

Do you need to move a piano, hot tub, or other oversized item? Then you should call in the pros. If you’re hiring movers, discuss these items with them ahead of time so they can have the right equipment to safely move your items.

Have a cleaning plan

Protecting your home during a move goes beyond preventing scuffs and scratches. Don’t pack your doormat; keep that out so people can clean off their shoes before entering. While you most likely protected the high traffic areas with plastic coverings, but chances are the individual rooms are not. This will protect the carpet in those areas and reduce the amount of dirt that gets brought in.

You should also keep a cleaning kit on hand to tackle smaller cleaning tasks: paper towels to wipe away spills, a wood pen to cover any scratches in wood, and a Magic Eraser to remove scuffs on the walls. Some damage gets worse the longer it sits so it’s good to take care of these things as soon as possible.

Following these simple steps will help you avoid costly repairs and keep the home you’re moving out of and your new Hayden home from being damaged.

Now is the perfect time to make the move to a new Hayden home. We offer affordable new homes that fit your needs at any stage in life, backed by our commitment to quality. Visit us at Hayden-Homes.com to learn more about our new home communities in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

How to Figure Out What You Want in a New Home

How to Figure Out What You Want in a New HomeFinding the right home that fits your qualifications and desires can be overwhelming, especially as a first-time homebuyer! With so many options,  how do you figure out which new home is right for you?

Here are some tips to help as you’re figuring out what you need and want your new home.

What does your heart desire?

Get the ball rolling by thinking about what would be in your dream home. Is it on a large lot in a quiet neighborhood? Is it a townhome closer to the city? How many bedrooms and bathrooms are there? Where is the master bedroom located? Put together a list of all the things that makes this house special to you?

Evaluate your current home

Walk through your home and take notes on what you like and what you wish your home had. Maybe you love how the kitchen is open to the living room but you didn’t have enough storage space. If you don’t like the layout, make sure your new home has a different one.

Here are some other factors to consider when coming up with your master list:

Location: While you can add a room or renovate the kitchen to your liking, you can’t change where your home is located. Take time to settle on the area you want to live in. This should be one you’re comfortable in and is close enough to what’s important to you: work, schools, shopping, recreation or entertainment options.

Size and type of home: Determine the size and type of home you need. How much space do you actually need? Your current (and future) family size impacts how much room you need. Do you need outdoor yard space for young children or pets? Do you want a single-family home or do you prefer a townhome? Do you want a two-story home on a large lot?  Your new home should be able to accommodate you today and into the foreseeable future.

Special features: You should also consider any special features you’ll need in your home. If you work remotely, a dedicated home office or space for an office will be a must have. Do you need a home that’s wheelchair accessible? An enclosed backyard?

Prioritize into needs and wants

Have your list ready? Now comes the most important part: prioritizing your master wish list into needs and wants. This will help you remain focused on finding the home that satisfies your needs; anything on your wants list is simply icing on the cake.

As you’re assigning your priorities, this is a good time to consider which features you’re willing to pay more for, like a shorter commute, and which you could live without, like a three-car garage. Its important to know what you’re willing to compromise on to find the right home that’s within your budget.

You want to make sure you find the best house for your family. Knowing what your new home needs to have before beginning your home search will save you time and help you find the right home sooner.

Now that you’ve figured out what you need and want in your next home, it’s time to go shopping! At Hayden Homes, we pride ourselves on building quality new homes. Whether you’re looking in Idaho, Oregon, or Washington, our team can help you move into a home that’s just right for you at any stage in life. We’re excited to work with you to find your dream home!

How Interest Rates Affect Mortgage Payments

How Interest Rates Affect Mortgage PaymentsOver the past year, many new homebuyers jumped into the market to lock in a historically low interest rate before they rise. Even though interest rates are low, even one percent can make a big difference! If you’ve been debating whether to buy now or wait, here are some things to consider.

Mortgage Basics

A mortgage is a secured loan used to purchase a home or other real estate property offered by banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions. Your mortgage payment consists of four main parts: principal (the total amount borrowed minus your down payment), interest rate (the amount the bank charges), taxes, and home insurance. You may need to pay private mortgage insurance is you put down less than 20% down.

If you want more information about mortgages, we deep dived on what exactly a home mortgage is in this post

There are two main types of mortgages: fixed and adjustable-rate. The type of loan you receive determines how your interest rate is calculated. Here’s how changes in interest rates can affect your mortgage payment.

Why Interest Rates Matter

Interest rates are the amount of money a bank charges you to borrow money and they directly affect the size of your mortgage payment. Higher interest rates mean higher mortgage payments and vice versa.

It’s important to remember that interest rates are compounded so you pay interest on the interest that’s accrued each month in addition to the principal balance! That’s why it pays to find the lowest possible mortgage rate.

How Much Can a Percentage Point Make on Your Mortgage?

One point may not sound like a lot but it is.

Let’s say you get a mortgage for $300,000 with a 30-year, fixed rate of 3.75%, this same loan will cost $500,270 with $200,270 in interest payments and a $1,390 mortgage payment.

If you get the same loan with a 4.75% interest rate, you’ll pay $563,789 in total over the life of your loan, with $263,789 going towards interest. Your monthly mortgage payment will be $1,566. This means you’re spending $63,519 more over the life of your loan!

Please note: this example is for illustrative purposes only. It does not include a down payment, taxes, insurance, or PMI. If you want numbers specific to your situation, please contact your lender.

When it comes to your mortgage, it pays to shop around. In short, mortgage rates matter – a lot! While a single percentage point may seem insignificant, it could end up being the difference of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. This is why it’s worth shopping around to find a favorable mortgage loan, especially if you’re taking out a larger loan.

Finding the Perfect New Home

We offer affordable new homes that fit your needs at any stage in life. Our new home communities in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington are backed by our commitment to quality. Visit us online at Hayden-Homes.com to learn what makes a Hayden home the right new home for you.

How to Save for a House and a Wedding at the Same Time

How to Save for a House and a Wedding at the Same TimeGetting married and buying a house are two huge financial milestones that often occur around the same time. These milestones often compete with each other but it doesn’t have to come down to ‘down payment or dream wedding.’ With a good financial plan, you can turn your dreams of a wedding and a new home into a reality. Here’s how.

Set your priorities

Your first task is figuring where you stand together. Have an honest conversation with your partner to discuss what your greatest priorities are and how they relate to the way you allocate your money. It’s okay if your priorities don’t match; what’s important is discussing what compromises you’re willing to make to achieve both goals. It can be difficult to save for a big wedding and a home at the same time so you may need to adjust your expectations.

Create a budget

Settled on your priorities? Great! Now it’s time to create a realistic budget for both the house and wedding. Review your combined incomes and expenses to determine how much extra income you have (if you haven’t already, having a regular monthly budget is helpful). Take a hard look at your discretionary spending and see where you can cut back.

Once you know how much you can save each month, you need to figure out how much you need to save for each event.

Saving for a house: determine how much home you can afford. Check out home prices in your areas and consider getting prequalified from a lender. Prequalification is a basic review of your creditworthiness to give you an estimated amount of how much you can be qualified to borrow. It’s not binding but it’s a good starting point. In addition to getting prequalified, it’s smart to review your actual budget to determine how much you’re comfortable borrowing.

We have some additional resources on how to budget for a new home and saving for a down payment.

Saving for a wedding: determine who will be contributing to the wedding. Most couples pay for the wedding themselves but sometimes their families may cover some of the costs. The next step is discussing the type of wedding you want. Do you want a big, elaborate party, an intimate elopement, or something in between? How many guests do you plan on having? The number of guests will have a big impact on your total wedding budget.

You can get a little creative to save some additional money on your wedding:

  • reduce the guest list
  • choose a more affordable venue
  • choose an off-season date or get married on a Sunday
  • use in-season flowers and find ways to repurpose flowers (i.e. use wedding ceremony flowers to decorate the reception site)

Keep savings separate

Create separate savings accounts for the wedding and your down payment. This will reduce the temptation to dip into the account and use funds earmarked for house for the wedding and vice versa. Having separate accounts also makes it easier to keep track of your progress and of your spending.

Avoid taking on new debt

Having a strong credit score is key to getting the best possible mortgage package. In order to land a favorable interest rate, you’ll want to avoid taking on new debt, especially if you’re paying for a wedding at the same time. If you need to put some wedding costs on a credit card, be sure to pay them off each month to keep your credit utilization rate and debt-to-income ratio low.

Adjust your timeline

Your budget for your wedding and down payment will determine your timeline. Break down the total amounts into monthly savings goals to figure out a workable timeline. If you’re feeling pinched saving for both events, consider pushing your timeline back to give yourself additional time to save and more breathing room.

This is an exciting moment in your life! Setting your priorities and creating a plan will help you start off your new life on the right foot.

Find your happily ever after in a new Hayden home. We’re excited to help you find the home that’s just right for you. Visit us online to learn more about our homes and new home communities in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Tips for Saving for a Down Payment to Buy a New Home

Tips for Saving for a Down Payment 2Saving money is not always easy. And when you’re trying to save money for a down payment, the task may feel more difficult. But it doesn’t have to be! While buying a home requires a healthy amount of savings, it’s possible with some planning and focus.

Before you begin

Saving for a down payment can feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to know how much you need before you start saving, By knowing what your goal amount is, you’ll be able to create a savings plan that works for you. While most lenders look for a 20% down payment, you may be eligible for a lower down payment depending on your loan. Check with your lender for more details.

Now that you’ve determined your target down payment amount, let’s talk about some ways you can start saving for a down payment.

Set up automatic transfers

Use automation to your advantage! Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to a dedicated savings account for your down payment. This is the most popular and convenient way to save. Your bank will automatically transfer the funds at the frequency you set without additional work from you. There are several savings apps you can use to create automatic savings as well, like Digit or Acorns.

Wondering why should you set up a separate savings account from your current one? Easy: out of sight, out of mind. Using a separate savings account dedicated to your down payment will keep you from spending your earmarked cash. Another benefit: you can earn a bit of interest as you’re saving so find a bank offering a high interest rate on savings accounts.

Pay off other debt

Paying off other debt (credit card, personal, car or student loans, etc.) will mean you have more money available each month to save towards your down payment. Do whatever you can do to reduce your current debt so you can dedicate more resources to your down payment.

Lower your expenses

Take a look at your expenses and figure out what you can reduce or get rid of. Maybe instead of paying for cable, you can switch to a streaming service. Be careful here; choose one or two streaming services to use, otherwise you run the risk of having a bill that matches your cable bill.

Make lunch or coffee at home

The daily coffee or lunch habit can be costing you a lot.  You don’t have to skip these treats entirely! Maybe instead of eating out every day, consider bringing a lunch three or four days out of the week and eating out once or twice. Likewise, if you have a multiple cup a day coffee habit, try making your morning cup at home and treating yourself to a coffee out in the afternoon. Deposit the money you would have spent into your down payment savings account.

Shop smarter

Use some smart shopping strategies to help cut your grocery expenses. Avoid shopping on an empty stomach to keep impulse purchases to a minimum. Create and stick to your shopping list. Buy non-perishable items in bulk (just items you already use and love!). Choose the store brand instead of the national brands, and look for sales and coupons for items you use regularly.

Unsubscribe to mailing lists

Remove the temptation to shop by unsubscribing to marketing emails. These emails are designed to encourage you spend money with sales and special offers.

Sell stuff you don’t need or use

Chances are you have plenty of things in your home that aren’t being used. Instead of letting them take up space, put them to good use by selling them. You can use online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, Ebay or even Craigslist. Or you can host a yard sale. Bonus points: you’ll end up with less to pack up when it’s time to move!

Get a side hustle

Pick up a side job and dedicate every penny you earn towards your down payment fund. Depending on your skills, you can start doing freelance work or join the gig economy by driving for a car service, walking dogs, pet sitting, babysitting, or even tutoring.

Don’t look at saving for a down payment for your dream home as an impossible hurdle. By breaking it down into smaller, more manageable goals, you’ll feel like saving is achievable. You’ll be able to see the progress you’ve made and stay motivated to continue. If you’re serious about buying a new home, it’ll be worth temporarily passing up on expenses to fund this important goal.

Hayden Homes is here to help when you’re ready to buy a new home. We build new single-family homes in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington for every stage of life. Visit us on our website to learn more about our homes and new home communities. We’re looking forward to welcoming you into your new home.

How to be a Good Neighbor

Every neighborhood has its own personality. Some feel like a large extended family, coming together to host street parties while other neighborhoods are filled with people who keep to themselves. Regardless of your neighborhood’s personality, if you want to live in a good neighborhood, you have to be a good neighbor. Here are some ways you can be a good neighbor and encourage others to do the same.

Introduce Yourself

Nothing is more welcoming than introducing yourself to your neighbors. For families new to the neighborhood, allow for some time after they move in to introduce yourself if they haven’t already. This is a great opportunity to officially welcome them to the neighborhood and start to get to know each other.

Have you’ve been living in your home for a while and still haven’t met your neighbors? Don’t let the awkwardness stop you from introducing yourself! It’s worth pushing past the discomfort and break the ice.

Keep Up Your Curb Appeal

An unkempt yard can reduce property values for the entire neighborhood. Don’t let your house become the “ugly one” on the street with an overgrown lawn, peeling paint or broken windows, or toys scattered in the front yard! Do your part by keeping your yard and home’s exterior neat and tidy. If you’re unable to mow the lawn or maintain the exterior of your home, hire a lawn service or a neighborhood kid to help.

Host Respectfully

A good host is a respectful host, not only to your guests but also to those who live nearby. Keeping music and noise to a reasonable level is basic common sense, especially if your party stretches into the evening. Something that’s often overlooked is parking! Make sure your guests don’t block a neighbor’s driveway and let them know where they can park. Giving your neighbors a heads up before a party never hurts. They’ll appreciate knowing what to expect! If you’re having a large party, consider extending an invitation to your neighbors so they can join the fun.

Be Pet-Friendly

Pets are a great way to meet new people, but they’re also a great way to alienate others! Be a responsible pet owner by taking care of your pets. Make sure they remain secure in your home or yard, clean up after them, and be mindful of any barking or other noise. Remember, not everyone is an animal lover so be mindful when coming in contact with other people.

Our neighborhoods impact how we feel about our homes. When people make the effort of being neighborly, you’ll start to feel more connected to your community and enjoy your home more. Remember the golden rule still applies!

If a new home is on your wish-list this year, Hayden Homes can help! We have new homes for sale throughout Washington, Idaho, Oregon. We’re looking forward to helping you find your dream home!

How to Budget for a New Home

Young couple working on budgeting for their new homeBuying a new home is one of the largest purchases we make in our lifetimes. Since it’s such a huge financial decision, it’s best to do your due diligence to determine how much you can afford before going to your first open house.

Reviewing and adjusting your finances is an important first step towards homeownership. Here are some great tips on how to budget for a new home.

Review your income

The key to creating a budget is knowing how much you have to spend. Add up your after-tax income sources for the month. Use this final number to build your budget around.

Write down current monthly expenses

List all of your monthly expenses so you can see where your dollars go each month, including any debt payments. Once you have your expenses figured out, you can calculate how much you’ll have remaining for housing costs.

List new regular expenses

In addition to your usual household expenses like mortgage and utilities, you’ll be responsible for some additional costs as a homeowner that you weren’t previously.

  • Property taxes and homeowner’s insurance: Check to see if these payments are included in your monthly mortgage payment. If you need to make separate payments, you’ll want to include that into your budget so you’re not surprised when the bill arrives. If they are included with your mortgage payment, be aware that your payment amount may vary by the year due to changes in property taxes and insurance premiums.
  • Homeowners association fees: Homeowners association (HOAs) dues are fees collected to maintain common areas in a neighborhood. Some fees are collected monthly while others are collected yearly. Its best to set some money aside each month so you’re not blindsided by a large payment all at once. Thankfully, Hayden Homes’ communities don’t have homeowners association fees.
  • Home maintenance: If you’re purchasing an existing (or used) home, home maintenance should be top of mind. A good rule of thumb is setting aside 1 to 2% of the value of your home each year for upkeep. One of the benefits of buying a brand new home is not having to worry about typical home maintenance. We offer each Hayden homebuyer one of the most comprehensive homeowner warranty programs. Each Hayden home comes with a one-year builder warranty on our work so the first year in your new home will be worry free!

Make adjustments

Once you have your expenses written down, review them to see if there are any areas you adjust your spending so you can save money or increase your allowable housing costs and/or paying down debt.

Save for a down payment

Many first-time homebuyers find saving for a down payment is typically the biggest challenge to overcome. Find out how much of a down payment you’ll need by getting pre-qualified for a mortgage and then create a savings plan.

Roll with the financial punches

Budgets are living breathing things so it’s okay to revisit your budget and make adjustments as your financial situation changes. Make sure you’re still building an emergency fund (ideally, you’ll have enough set aside to cover three to six months of expenses).

Find your dream home with Hayden Homes

If you have more questions on how to budget for a new home, our team is here to help and are available to get you in touch with a loan officer to go deeper into this topic with you. So when you’re ready to start the homebuying process, we’re ready to help you find your dream home. We have brand new homes for sale in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Contact us today to learn how we can help you find your new home.

Homebuying 101: Understanding Credit Scores

Homebuying 101: Understanding Credit ScoresYour credit score is one of the most important numbers of your financial life. This three-digit number can be the difference between getting the loan you need to buy a new home or car, or even qualify for a credit card with a good interest rate. While credit scores play a strong role in our financial life, they’re also a bit misunderstood. Here’s a quick guide to understanding credit scores.
What is a credit score?
Your credit score is the number rating used by banks to determine how likely you are to repay a loan. Each credit bureau has their own way of calculating credit scores, but typically your score is based on the following factors:
  • Payment history
  • Age of credit
  • Credit card utilization (the amount of credit available and how much you’re using)
  • Types of credit (i.e. credit cards, auto, student, personal or mortgage loans, etc.)
  • Hard credit inquiries (credit checks requested by lenders when you apply for credit/loan)
After reviewing your credit history, a three-digit number between 300 and 850 will be assigned. The higher the score on this scale, the better your credit is. It’s common to have a slightly different score at the same time. Each credit bureau uses their own calculation model to determine your credit score, and sometimes lenders don’t report to all three credit bureaus.
What’s a ‘good’ credit score?
Your credit score will fall into one of four categories: Very Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good or Excellent. Here’s the range for scores lenders use (this range is typically for VantageScore, which is used by the 3 major credit bureaus):
  • Very Poor: any credit score under 549
  • Fair: credit score between 550 and 649
  • Good: credit score between 650 and 749
  • Very Good: credit score between 750 and 749
  • Excellent: any credit score 750 and above
How credit scores affect homebuying
Your credit score is the key to buying a new home. When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will review your credit report to determine whether or not to approve you for a loan, but also how much you’ll qualify to borrow, your mortgage rate, the type of loan you can get, and, in some cases, how much private mortgage insurance you’ll pay.
There’s no minimum credit score needed to apply for most loans, there are some mortgage providers, like FHA, have general guidelines for people with lower credit scores.
Not only that, but your credit score also affects your interest rate. Most lenders will provide more favorable interest rates to people with higher credit scores, which can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!
Checking your credit score
Not only should you check your credit score before you begin the mortgage process, you should regularly review your credit report to make sure the information is accurate and to check your progress if you’re working to improve your score. Don’t worry: checking your credit report won’t affect your credit score! You can request a free credit report each year or use one a service like CreditKarma.com to check your credit score.

How to Meet Your New Neighbors After Moving

Tips for Meeting Your New Neighbors - Parents holding their young kidsMoving into a new home is a great feeling. Especially once you’ve start to get settled in. The chaos of moving day has subsided, your family has established their new routine, and you’re starting to get the lay of the land. What’s next? Meeting your new neighbors.

Getting to know your neighbors will help you feel connected and welcomed to your new neighborhood. Not only can you be on friendly terms with your neighbors, knowing them creates a safer community where people look out for each other.

While meeting your new neighbors may not be high on your priority list, you’ll appreciate the benefits. Here are some tips you can use to make meeting your new neighbors easier.

Smile and Say Hello
Forming a relationship with your neighbors is all about being friendly to each other. Chances are, your arrival did not go unnoticed. While you may not have much time on moving day to have a full conversation with your neighbors, a simple smile and warm hello will set you up for a follow up greeting once the moving fuss has died down. Use your status as the new family on the block to strike up a conversation and introduce yourself.

Scope Out Your Neighborhood
Check out your neighborhood and see if you can find common things that connect you. Check to see which neighbors have kids or pets (both of which are fantastic ice breakers!) Perhaps someone is an avid gardener or sports fan. Whatever it is, finding common interests make approaching new people easier.

Ask Questions
Your neighbors are a fantastic resource to your new neighborhood. This is especially helpful if you’ve relocated from out of town. As a newcomer, you’ll need help getting the lay of the land as you become familiar with your new community. Your neighbors will appreciate being able to provide helpful tips and insider information about schools, grocery stores, restaurants, and community events.

Be Outside More Often
You can’t meet your neighbors when you stay inside all the time! Make yourself approachable by being seen outside in your yard, whether you’re gardening or just relaxing on the porch. You can also take a walk around your community or visit the local playground or park. Just remember to be open for opportunities to mingle!

Join an Online Community
Check to see if your neighborhood has a social media profile, like a Facebook group page or a NextDoor account. These online communities are a great way to stay up-to-date on neighborhood happenings and a low-pressure way to meet new people. Establishing an online connection can ease the awkwardness of an in-real life meeting.

Whether you’ve moved to a new Hayden home across town or from across the county, these tips will help you get to know your new neighbors and make your new community feel more like home.
If you’re still on the hunt for your dream home, Hayden Homes can help. We have brand new homes for sale in the Northwest, and our home builders are ready to get you moved into your dream home.

Contact us today for more information, whether you’re buying your first home or upgrading to a bigger one.

New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Buying a Home

New Years Resolution Ideas for Buying  a HomeNew Year’s Eve is just around the corner, which means that if you haven’t already started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, it’s time to get on it! If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to figure out how to buy a home in the coming year, then make a series of smaller, more manageable resolutions to help you reach the big one. Here are some ideas to help you prepare!

Set a Savings Goal

If you’re buying a new home, you’ll most likely need to make a down payment on that home, and it could be the full 20 percent, or a lesser amount. Most people don’t have the kind of cash lying around without diligently saving for months or years, which means you should start saving now. Even if it’s only a little bit, having a clear picture of your finances and committing to putting away a certain amount each month can help a lot in the long run. Keep in mind that you will most likely be approved for a loan, even if you don’t have the full 20 percent down payment.

Fix Your Credit

Your credit will have an impact on whether or not you get approved for a mortgage loan, and if so, what your mortgage loan interest rate will be. If you have poor credit, you should start working to fix your credit asap. This means putting a plan in action to:

 

    • Pay down your debt;
    • Making all payments on time and in full;
    • Reduce your credit card balances or stop using your credit cards completely; or
    • Consolidate your debt.

 

If you have poor credit, you may be unable to secure a loan, or may get stuck with a high interest rate.

Get Your Documents in Order

Alright – you’ve fixed your credit score, saved up a good chunk of change for a down payment – what’s next? Now you need to start getting all of your mortgage loan documents in order. In order to get pre-approved for a loan, and certainly before the mortgage lender will issue you a loan, you’ll need to provide a variety of documents. These documents will likely include: at least two years’ worth of tax returns, W-2s, employment history, income/bank statements, and proof of assets. The sooner you start organizing these documents, the sooner you’ll know where you fall short and can start taking steps to correct this.

Find the Perfect New Home

Of course, before you can buy your new home, you have to find it first! Take time to explore your options, look at homes in different neighborhoods, determine your budget, and consider whether you want to buy brand new or used. Newer homes often have many benefits that older homes lack, require little maintenance, and can be personalized to fit your style!

Our Home Builders Can Help

At Hayden Homes, we have your dream home for sale! Come see our new homes sprinkled throughout the Northwest, in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Buying your first home is exciting – let us help!