You may want to jump right in to planting flowers and decorating your new home as soon as possible, but there are essential steps every first-time homebuyer must prioritize.

Tracking down important papers or analyzing your expenses each month may not be the most fun, but you shouldn’t even look at new homes for sale until you’ve done these five things. When you’re buying a home in Amarillo, Assist-2-Sell is here for you. We can help you find new listings and give you information and resources to help you succeed — starting with this list.

Get Ready For A Down Payment

The dreaded down payment. It’s here.

It’s common — and ideal — to put at least 20 percent down when you purchase a home. You’ll spend less on your mortgage and interest over time if you do so. It’s hard to pay so much upfront, though (just 10 percent on a $300,000 home is $30,000). Many lenders will now take much lower down payments — sometimes as little as 3 percent down — but that means more money that you pay over time.

The general rule is to start saving early. Even if that means delaying buying a home for a little while longer, it could be worth it. Explore your down payment and mortgage options early in the process, and use our mortgage calculator for help.

Check Your Credit Score

When you’re trying to qualify for that loan, your credit score will be one of the largest determiners. Make sure there are no mistakes with your credit score, and work hard to improve it as much as you can before you start to find homes for sale. Looking for a house is fun, but looking for a house when you have a good credit score certainly has its rewards.

Evaluate Your Cash Flow

Find yourself wondering where your money goes each month? You need to figure it out before you browse those real estate listings. Keep track of your money for a few months, determine how much you spend (not just what your budget says you’ll spend), and see if you can actually afford that mortgage. If you realize that you can’t, try staying within budget for a while (you’ll build your credit and savings during this time!) — there will always be new listings.

Organize Your Documents

You need proof of income and taxes, and it’s not always easy tracking down those pay stubs or W-2s, especially if you’ve transitioned jobs or moved recently. Get everything together from the start and you’ll have an easier process later on.

Find A Real Estate Company You Trust

Real estate agents know trends in the market, know the area, and can help you through the home-buying process. At Assist-2-Sell in Amarillo, we’ll help you find houses for sale that meet your requirements. We’re different than other real estate companies, and we think you’ll enjoy the refreshing changes. Buying a home is a big step, but with the right real estate agent by your side, the process can be smooth and affordable.

Ready to work with Assist-2-Sell? We can’t blame you. Contact us today.