The Next Step:  6 Months, 3 Months and 2 Months Out

By:  Rich Patterson, Realtor

In our recent post on how to prepare to purchase a home one-year out, we’ll now discuss your 6-month, 3-month and 2-month home buying strategy to prepare you for the most important transaction you’ll ever make… purchasing your home!

6 Months Out

Mortgages vary in length and terms.  Do your homework.   The team can provide you with a list of preferred loan originators that can assist you.  It’s important that you find a lender that you can trust and demonstrates the patience to walk you through the process and explain the risks associated with each loan type.   Doing so will ensure you can afford homeownership over time. 

Know your numbers and research unforeseen costs.   Unforeseen expenses such as Home Owners Association (HOA) fees and home maintenance can wreak havoc on your bank account.  Also, take into consideration utilities, home insurance, and property taxes.  The Urban to Suburban Team and your lender can provide and review these expenses with you.   The team can also provide net sheets on closing costs, etc. so you’re well aware of your out of pocket expenses prior to closing.

We recommend the following three loan originators to reach out to discuss your financing options:

Lisa Love Berry, Branch Manager
Angel Oaks Home Loans
NMLS# 225078
c. 512-656-4966




Brian Cisna, Residential Loan Originator

Thrive Home Mortgage

NMLS:  621108

c. 512-743-3335




Morgan McMahan, Loan Originator
Benchmark Home Loans

ph. 512-562-0716




3 Months Out

Definitely start reducing your credit usage.   When the team works with clients, we always advise watching every penny that you spend and DO NOT make any large purchases, e.g. cars, furniture, appliances without consulting your lender.  Your FICO score is affected by how much of your available credit lines you are using.  Even if you pay your balances in full every month, the balance reflected on your most recent statement is the basis of your score.  It’s recommended that you keep that balance below 30%.

2 Months Out

Be cautious of having your credit pulled.  Every time a lender pulls your credit report, your overall score is lowered slightly.  Fortunately, the FICO scoring formula counts all mortgage-related credit inquiries within a specified period of time as one.  That’s a good reason to do your mortgage shopping in a concentrated period of time.

Look into mortgage rates.  Unlike pulling your credit report, which slightly lowers your score, checking your FICO score has no adverse effect on your credit score and is helpful to have when talking to your mortgage lender.  At this stage, you don’t need to pul your credit report, but rather discover your options.

This is when you get prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage.   Being prequalified for a mortgage gives you an idea of how much you can afford, but a preapproval is a lender’s commitment to giving you a loan.  A preapproval letter tells a seller you’re a valid potential buyer, but it does not obligate you to use a particular lender.

Now the fun begins, it’s time to research neighborhoods and possible properties.   The team will set you up in the MLS to begin receiving listings and alerts.  Besides cost, there are many factors in determining which property you should buy.  Do you need close proximity to work, good schools or great amenities?   This is where the team can be an asset to your home search and guide you through the entire process.

The can team can also guide you through the process of purchasing a new construction home.  To learn more about the advantages of this opportunity, click here.

Benefits of using the team to purchase your next home:

  • 25 years of residential sales experience and can help you understand what you can afford
  • The team are Certified Buyer Representatives which is recognized by the National Association of Realtors
  • The team is also New Home Construction Certified.
  • Access to the Austin MLS and the Central Texas MLS, with access to home inventory in Travis, Williamson, Bell, Hays, and Comal counties.
  • Setting up appointments for buyers to view homes, and discuss with you the features and advantages and disadvantages of each home as it pertains to resale, etc.
  • Together, we’ll discuss the contract and its amendments and timelines that will affect your officer.
  • The team will also make arrangements to have the home inspected and review the inspection report with you and the home inspector.
  • The team can do a comparative market analysis on the property to ensure you make a fair offer and do not overpay.
  • In a multiple offer situation, the team will guide you through the process and explain the timelines and the contract.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.