Today marks the start of National Homeownership Month, an annual event that focuses on the long-standing tradition of homeownership serving as a symbol of prosperity and success in the U.S.
"Studies on homeownership prove that it enhances our lives in many ways, and among them is how we plant deeper stakes within the communities we call home," noted John L. Heithaus, CMO of MRIS. "Since navigating the housing market has become more complex than ever-- any potential homebuyer, whether a first time buyer or not, can benefit from solid professional advice in their pursuit of homeownership."
To that end, MRIS has compiled the following list of "must read" tips from among its 45,000+ network of real estate professionals, reinforcing some of the best practices for ensuring that potential homebuyers are home-ready.
1. Understand and update your FICO credit score.This single number plays a major role in determining the interest rate on your mortgage, so it's vital to know what your FICO score is, address any discrepancies and take corrective action to improve your score if it's below par. As of May 2012, 664 was listed as the national average, and the median was listed as 723. According to Heithaus, individuals with scores of at least 700 tend to get the best rates on a mortgage. Each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies -- Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion -- are required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once per year. To order, visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com.
2. Know what you can afford. Up to 12 months in advance of your desired home purchase, establish a relationship with a trusted mortgage lender who can help you identify your monthly payment goals, target purchase price and the types of loans you are qualified for based on your current financial situation.
3. Boost your savings. After you have determined your monthly payment goals and target purchase price, make sure you have the cash on hand for when you are ready to buy. We suggest saving enough money for six months of mortgage payments, as well as a minimum of 3.5% of the purchase price to cover the down payment and closing costs. First-time and repeat homebuyers should also establish reserves for less visible expenses, such as closing costs, moving costs, home repairs, renovations and planned upgrades when saving for a home.
4. Avoid making major purchases. When preparing to buy a home, it's important to stay away from big-ticket items, such as purchasing a car, in order to keep your cash reserves high and show the lender that you'll be able to service the mortgage debt more easily.
5. Understand the micro-local real estate market. Homebuyers can save themselves money by watching the seasonal trends in their targeted area(s) and being financially prepared to make an offer when the time is right. Ask your real estate professional for detailed reports from RealEstate Business Intelligence (http://www.rbintel.com) on local market conditions to help guide your decision based on the trends in particular neighborhoods.
6. Consult a real estate professional. Long before you are ready to buy, seek out and interview up to three real estate professionals who can prepare you to face the market by addressing questions, setting realistic expectations and providing valuable insight and expertise to the complex process of home purchasing. Heithaus advises that "This is no time to 'go it alone,' and an expert real estate professional can help navigate you through a successful purchase. Search the most currently available listings, and locate a real estate professional online at http://www.HomesDatabase.com.
MRIS is real estate in real time(TM), enabling its customers to list and sell nearly $100 million in real estate each day. In 2011, the company facilitated $33.6 billion in cooperative broker sales. A leading systems developer and integrator of real estate information technology and databases, MRIS connects its customers with timely, accurate and actionable data with a growing portfolio of technology solutions. This includes broker and agent software products, an industry-leading consumer real estate portal, HomesDatabase.com and many others. MRIS also showcases unique homes and offers tailored community information through its online television network, mrisTV.com. Behind the scenes, the CURE Solutions Group subsidiary of MRIS provides back-end technology to other MLS systems through CURE, a proprietary solution. MRIS serves nearly 45,000 real estate professionals spanning a 22,000 square mile section of the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and markets located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Visit MRIS at MRIS.com, "Like" us on Facebook.com/MRISonFB, and follow us on Twitter, @MRIS_REal_News.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/6/prweb9565525.htm