If you’re a first time home buyer in Thousand Oaks or anywhere in Ventura County, an FHA loan may be the perfect option for you. It’s important to speak with an expert about FHA loans to learn the pros and cons so that you’re fully informed to make the right decision.

But while you’re thinking about decisions like this, make sure you’re getting ready. Here are 7 things you can do yourself to help put yourself in the best possible position to take that next step into homeownership.

  1. Get Your Credit Score

Before you begin any home purchase process, you’ll want to determine how much you can borrow towards a home. A FICO score will be required by the FHA loan processing team, and you’ll want to verify that your score is above 580.

If your credit score is higher than 580, you’re all set. However, if it’s lower, you’re not necessarily excluded from FHA eligibility, you’ll just some catching up to do. (Click here to read more about credit scores.)

  1. Choose a Realtor

Choosing your realtor is an important step in your home purchase transaction. You’ll want to partner with a professional who is willing to work with your plans and help you prepare for the process. Contact us at Capstone Direct and we’ll be happy to refer you to a realtor who’s best for you and your specific situation.

  1. Research FHA & Conventional Homes Loans

Conventional loans may offer some benefits, but an FHA loan comes with many perks, such as:

  • Lower down payment–as low as 3.5%
  • Less demanding guidelines and restrictions
  • Higher allowances for debt-to-income ratios; sometimes over 50%

  1. Learn the Area Limits for FHA

For an FHA loan, you’ll want to check for any possible limits that exist in your particular area. These limits may be determined by your county or the type of property you’re purchasing. Capstone Direct is based in Thousand Oaks and we know Ventura County and Los Angeles County quite well, and we can give you the info you need.

  1. Save Money for Your Home

It’s vital that you save money for the downpayment on your home purchase. Typically, a down payment of 3.5% or greater will be required, so now is a good time to start putting money into your savings.

  1. Check Out a Real Mortgage Calculator

If you’re unsure of how much home you can afford, speak to us for professional estimates with accurate information. There are a lot of “home loan calculators” on the internet, and at best they give very, very general information. There are a ton of factors that go into homeownership, and you don’t want to base your decision on some free software that some stranger cooked up with the goal of capturing emails for sales leads.

  1. Pay Your Bills

Whether you’ve been pre-approved for an FHA loan or you’re planning to apply for one, make sure you’re paying your bills like clockwork so that nothing negatively affects your credit score.

  • Bonus Tip: Call Capstone Direct

Capstone Direct specializes in helping first time home buyers get their loans. We’d be glad to help you, too!