Homebuying 101: Tips & tricks to help you purchase your dream home

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 9:32 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Buying a house can be a long and challenging journey leaving people feeling intimidated as they struggle with where to start, but once you decide to become a homeowner, you’re already past the first step.

Stephanie Todd was worried that future events – like losing a job or unexpected repairs – would be a deterrent to owning a home. However, she pushed through those fears to move into her dream home earlier this month.

“Some of my fears going into the process were how things would work out. I was really nervous about how the process would be. I thought it was going to be really, really difficult and scary. I thought it was going to take a long time; it was a big commitment for me, but it wasn’t at all, it went very smoothly,” said Todd, on her feelings when first starting her journey to home ownership.

Understanding your finances is key to purchasing a house.

Knowing your credit score is step one. Understanding your current, and future debt-to-income ratio is step two. That ratio is found by dividing the total amount of debt by your monthly take-home income. Ideally, the ratio should be less than 45%.

Real estate agent Beth Staeckeler says pre-approval also plays a big part in purchasing a home.

“So, some things that people should know before they purchase a home is the most important thing is to make sure that you are pre-approved before we start showing you homes. We want to make sure we are showing you homes that you can actually purchase within a specific price point,” said Staeckeler, who works for Christians Team-Keller Williams Realty.

Additionally, potential home buyers should avoid making major purchases like cars or opening new credit cards; anything that can pull your credit, while shopping for a house.