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The Secret To Homeownership in 2021

The Secret To Homeownership in 2021

Do you REALLY want to know how to buy your home in 2021?? The key to a successful homebuying experience is getting everything right from the start. Here are somethings you need to know to make your life and the process easier.

The Big 5

1. Know Your Credit

2. Save early

3. Know what you can afford

4. Homebuyer Programs

5. Research Early

1. Know Your Credit

Your credit score is the critical part in this process. It determines if you can qualify for a mortgage and interest rate you will get. During these times of COVID-19 lenders are requiring a higher credit score. Do not be discouraged some lenders are still are working with a 580-credit score. Always remember the higher the credit score, the less money you will have to pay during the process.

General requirements to get a mortgage loan

Proof of income - typically W-2’s from the last 2 years, recent paystubs, any additional income, recent bank statements, and 2 most recent tax returns. (Note: business owner’s and contractors need 2 years of verifiable income)

2. Save Early

There is some cost to consider when purchasing a home so start saving for them early:

  • Down Payment: If are going to use a mortgage to buy a home you are going to need a down payment. It can be as little as 3% all the way up to 20%. The higher the down payment the lower the monthly payments will be. On a property that is $250,000, at 3% the down payment would $7,500 compared $50,000 at 20%.

  • Closing Cost: These are expenses and fees needed finalize the mortgage. How much you pay will depend on the loan type & who the lender is. Typically, I recommend my clients use 5% of the loan amount as a good figure. It gives a place to plan and save, it’s always better to overestimate then to underestimate. These fees typically include appraisal fees, title insurance, and if you are using an FHA/USDA loan you will have an insurance premium or funding fee expense.

  • Moving / Move in Expense: While you are going through the loan process. You can not make any major purchases. Let me say that again, You CAN NOT make any major purchases, no cars, bed, couch, etc. So, it is critical that you have this money saved up beforehand. If you want to hire movers, you should plan between $1,000-5,000 depending on the amount of property you have. Also, you might want to get a tv mounted, buy appliances, upgrade items, and buy furniture when you move in.

3. Know what you can afford.

Its important to figure out how much you can safely spend on a house before you start looking. Just because a bank will loan you $300,000 does not mean you have to spend that much. You want money left over after you pay your mortgage every month to buy food, pay your other bills, and go on trips. Do not sacrifice your lifestyle to buy a house. You can use my affordability calculator to help with setting a price range.

4. Homebuyer Programs

There are many buyer programs available . Do your research and see what you might qualify for. A great starting point in South Carolina, is the SC Housing website.

5. Research Early

In this age of accessibility of the internet. Most buyers have already started looking a real estate listing on or, some may have even been to an open house. To help when you start the home search, take notes on the areas you like, what type of home interest you, and how long it stays on the market. When you are familiar on the trends of homes that interest you, it makes it easier to find the home when you are ready to purchase

If you any questions about this process or what your next steps might be send me an email at

or give me a call 843.949.0249

*Note in Bluffton, SC and Beaufort county FHA & USDA loans are available, I qualified mortgage lender can explain the positives and negatives of each.

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