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Bad Habits to Ditch Now If You Hope to Buy a Home in 2017

Usually we decide to stop our bad habits when the day of reckoning arrives. We stop speeding after we get a ticket, jettison our midnight ice cream binges when the jeans don’t zip, ditch our crippling mime obsession when family members threaten to walk out the door. And yeah, the same impulses hold true for home buying as well.

Unfortunately, many prospective home buyers don’t realize they should have put the brakes on certain self-defeating behaviors long ago. To help clue you in, here are six habits that home buyers should ditch pronto.

Lousy habit No. 1: Leaning hard on credit cards

It’s no secret that a “buy now, pay later” attitude can lead to getting in over your head financially.

“Credit cards can be addictive, and overuse can lead to poor decisions that adversely affect your ability to buy a home,” says Realtor® Denise Supplee with Long & Foster Real Estate in Doylestown, PA.

Typically, consumers should use no more than 30% of their available credit; consistently exceeding that amount can ding your credit score, making it harder to qualify for a mortgage.

“Forgo the temptation to buy that 60-inch, 3-D smart TV on your credit card, and vow to only use your plastic for purchases you intend to pay in full at the next billing cycle,” Supplee advises.

Lousy habit No. 2: Making credit card payments late, or not at all

Running up debt on your cards is a terrible idea, but so are late or missing payments.

“There are a lot of consumers who think it’s no big deal to miss a credit card payment, and I cannot stress enough how incorrect this is,” says Sacha Ferrandi, founder of Source Capital Funding, in San Diego. “Every missed credit card payment impacts your score.”

When it comes time to obtain a mortgage, a lower credit score translates into a more expensive loan and, in some cases, could cause your mortgage application to be denied altogether.

To continue reading, visit Realtor.com

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