How to Stay Organized While Buying a Home

From staying on top of your credit to making sure you’re working with the right people, there are a few steps that home buyers can take to make the process easier.

House hunting can be an overwhelming process. From figuring out your financial capabilities to determining what you’re unwilling to go without in your new home, there’s a seemingly never ending list of tasks that need to be checked off before your paperwork is signed and you’ve made it to your home’s actual closing. But just because there are a lot of things to keep track of while buying a home doesn’t mean that the process has to be chaotic.

Staying organized throughout the home buying process starts with the state of the housing market itself. Over the course of the past decade, the industry has experienced some major swings. But according to Vito Roppo, a mortgage advisor and branch manager for Finance of America Mortgage, it’s finally looking like the market is opening up to those who are looking to buy.

“There’s no doubt that this industry has had a lot of ups and downs. But the Great Recession has by far sparked the biggest changes that the home buying process has seen since I first got involved with the mortgage business,” said Roppo. “There was a period of time where a lot of people were losing their houses. But now we seem to be on the other side of it, and we’re in a position to help walk first time homebuyers through the process.”

The most important thing that potential buyers need to keep in mind as they enter the process is their credit. Setting realistic financial limitations is crucial to the home buying process—home buyers need to be sure that they can afford the types of homes that they’re touring. That’s where taking a proactive approach to managing your credit comes in, even before you get serious about buying.

“Stay on top of your credit. I can’t overstate the importance of making sure that your bills are paid on time, and keeping up with your accounts in the event of fraud,” Roppo said. “Beyond that, you want to save up for a down payment and make sure that you aren’t over extending yourself financially when you’re looking into purchasing.”

On top of the financial aspects associated with buying a home, staying organized throughout the process requires surrounding yourself with the right people and making sure that the decisions you’re making are the best for your individual situation. Every home buyer is different—there isn’t a universal right way to go through the process that will work for everyone. That’s why it’s essential for prospective buyers to create their own unique checklist of items that need to be accomplished.

To ensure that each one of those items is being handled the right way, buyers have the opportunity to work with industry professionals who know the home buying process inside and out. And according to Roppo, choosing the right team can make or break your home buying experience.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to knowing your options. There are a lot of different programs and lenders out there who are willing to work with you throughout the home buying process. But you need to be comfortable with the person that you’re working with,” said Roppo. “Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions that you’ll make in your entire life, so you want to make sure you’re doing your homework and dealing with the right people.”