Looking to Buy a House? Read This First

Is now a good time to buy a home?

It’s a common question these days as potential homeowners wonder if it’s the time to capitalize on low prices, foreclosures and fairly low interest rates. But determining when it’s right to buy isn’t all about the market, Carmen said. It’s about you and the state of your money.

John Ulzheimer said that while a 580 credit score would have gotten you a great mortgage just two years ago, now you need to be “well well well into” the 700s to get the best deal from a lender. His best advice? Start early and give yourself time to prepare. Give yourself 60 – 90 days to do things like pay off your credit card debt and then leaving your cards dormant for the duration of the underwriting process. And hold off on financing anything else, he said. Lenders get nervous when they see inquired on your credit report about any impending debt. So if you need a new car to go along with the new digs, wait until you’ve signed the dotted line on the mortgage first.