By Abdul Muhammad


The Dream of Homeownership may be closer than you think. Implementing these four key action items from WesBanco will help make the Dream of Homeownership become a reality.

CHECK YOUR CREDIT. Credit is the life line to your future ability to become a new homeowner.  A best practice is to review your credit report at once a year.  Reviewing your credit allows you to make sure there are no surprises such as incorrect reporting or fraudulent credit activity showing up on your credit report prior to applying for a mortgage.  You can use apps such as credit karma or review your credit report online via www.experian.com, www.equifax.com or www.transunion.com.

ACCESS YOUR NEEDS. Accessing your housing needs could be the most important step in the process, however it can be easily over looked.  Knowing what size home you need now and whether you have plans for future family growth that may require more room are very important.  Knowing what your necessities are in a home is priceless.  This will keep you from over spending and buying more house than you need.

BUDGET. Budgeting for a new home is crucial.  With the accelerated increase in student loans, higher credit card balances and big car payments, it’s sometimes difficult to find room for a mortgage payment.   Too often we get the new car with a big car payment, prior to buying the new home that we want, only to find out later we can’t afford the home now.  If you are buying a home within six to twelve months, make sure you talk to a financial adviser prior to making major purchases so that you can plan accordingly.  You can also access tools online that will allow you to run budget numbers that will help keep you in line.   Try to keep your monthly obligations to a minimal prior to buying your home and save for the future.

PRE QUALIFY. The pre-qualification process is the last major step prior to your search.  Make sure you talk with several mortgage professionals to find out what mortgage products best fit your needs.  Questions to consider: How long will I stay in this home?  Will you need a loan that requires a low down-payment?  Can I use my VA benefits to buy a home?  Are you purchasing an existing home or building a new home?  All these questions need to be discussed with a mortgage professional that can help guide you to the loan that best fits your needs.  The mortgage professional will also access your credit, income and assets.  By doing so, they can tell you how much you qualify for in a home, which allows you to shop with confidence.  Remember, “When in doubt, ask!”