New Year’s resolutions are made based on significant changes someone wants to see in their life, and there is no reason for buying a home to be an exception. Buying a home can involve months or years of preparation, and it is an intimidating process that might leave buyers reluctant to start. New Year’s resolutions can prove to be the catalyst that finally sets things in motion.

Start Saving

A down payment of three to twenty percent of the home purchase price is typically needed to secure a loan. The minimum required amount depends on the type of loan, but the more buyers can put down the better as they will save more money over time in interest they won’t have to pay on a larger loan. Buyers who don’t yet have this money stashed away should make it a New Years’ resolution to begin saving.

Start Researching Real Estate Agents

Most buyers, particularly if they are first-time home buyers, should strongly consider working with a real estate agent. An excellent New Years’ resolution for hopeful home buyers is to start researching real estate agents as well as the buying process, so they become familiar with it and know what to expect. Buyers can begin compiling a list of agents they may want to interview, and once they have been pre-qualified for a mortgage can start reaching out to their list.

Check Credit

A mortgage application is going to scrutinize a buyer’s entire credit history, so it’s essential to make sure that credit information is correct. This is particularly true for buyers who haven’t checked their full credit reports lately. Individuals are entitled by law to check their credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies—TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian—every year. If there are any red flags, such as someone else’s information showing up on the buyer’s report or their credit not being where it should be, buyers should start working to remedy that right away.

Pledge Not To Make Large Purchases

Prospective home buyers should not make any large purchases until after they close on a home. Doing so can affect credit eligibility at any point in the process, and it’s worst when it happens after pre-qualification and right before final approval because it can leave everyone high and dry. Financing issues are the number one reason property sales fall through. Buyers should make sure their credit stays good enough throughout the buying process to keep that from happening.