Getting your paperwork and finances in order before you buy is key to a successful home purchase. Once you are ready to buy, it typically takes 3-5 months to identify a place you want to call home.  Being organized means being competitive in a tight market. 

A year to six months before you buy you'll want to:

  • Check all three of your credit reports and clear up any incorrect information. You are entitled to free reports from all three agencies once a year.  visit to get your reports.
  • Pay off any credit card debt.
  • Save, save, save.  You've probably been saving for that is the time to put just a little more away.  It is good to have padding in case you need to put more money down, need after closing cash for a co-op board, or want to do minor renovations upon move-in.

Six months to three months before you buy you'll want to:

  • Make sure you have easy access to all your online bank statements and retirement accounts
  • Begin researching where you want to live
  • Ask friends for recommendations for a good broker to use

Three months before you buy you'll want to:

  •  Have any gifts you'll be receiving deposited into your account
  • Contact your real estate broker to start your search
  • Contact a mortgage broker to get you pre-approved
  • Identify an attorney you want to use for your transaction
  • For co-op purchases, begin thinking about who you'll use as personal references