Buying a home can be like solving a complicated puzzle.

While the end goal is totally worth it, a first-time buyer shouldn’t have to meander through a long process. Each answer and each solution is within reach with the right team and preparation in place.

And if you’re reading this blog, it’s probably because you want to be informed as you make some very important decisions about your future.

Good for you and you’re on the right track.

With that, let’s discuss four things you should avoid before taking that important step toward homeownership.

No. 1 – Don’t ignore your credit

Your credit score will be paramount to your ability to buy a home. Your credit score can tip the scales in either direction and can mean the difference between getting a loan or delaying your home purchase. When you forget to keep track of your credit, you may let important factors slip through the cracks, which will negatively impact your score. Keep current, stay informed and do your best to monitor your credit and other personalized financial data.

No. 2 – Don’t fall behind on your bills

Much like the above, paying your bills on time is a big deal. When you apply for a loan, your lender must take a careful look at all your financials, including your payment and billing history. Every point counts, and missing a payment by just one day can result in a negative outcome on your credit score. Take a close look at your monthly budget and mark down every due date so you’re up to speed and ahead of the game.

No. 3 – Don’t change jobs just yet

Making a career change this late in the game can jeopardize your application. While it may not be a total disqualifier, it can have a negative impact because a stable and reliable income is an important prerequisite for getting a loan. Come in to the process with a real game plan and stability so you can maximize your potential as a buyer.

No. 4 – Don’t make a big purchase

Remember, the time leading up to your application is crucial. Do not make any big changes to your file, like making a big purchase. There are multiple reasons for this. First, it is a red flag on your credit report. Secondly, it can deprive you of some valuable cash to pay for the costs of buying a home.

Buying a home is a big deal, and you must be prepared. Even though some actions like making a purchase may seem harmless, they can have a big impact on your application. Even a small change can affect your interest rate, which over the long run will end up costing you a lot of money. My goal is to help you pay attention to the details that matter so you can successfully navigate this amazing journey toward homeownership.

If you’ve read over these tips and feel you’re ready to buy a home, be sure to look here to start your application!