Your Roadmap to 2024 Homeownership: Top Ten Steps to Prepare for Buying a Home in the Next Six Months

Cindy Kelly


With the Fed forecasted (but not guaranteed!) to lower interest rates this year there's a lot of buyers gearing up to jump in the market. That's an exciting time - congrats! Buying a home is a significant milestone, but proper preparation is key to a smooth and successful experience. To help you get started, here are the top ten things you should do NOW to set yourself up for success later:

  1. Set Clear Financial Goals

    • Determine your budget and how much you can comfortably afford for a down payment, monthly mortgage payments, and other associated costs.
  2. Review Your Credit Report

    • Request your credit report from all three major credit bureaus and ensure there are no errors. A strong credit score can lead to better mortgage rates.
  3. Save for a Down Payment

    • If you haven't already hit your goal, keep saving for a down payment, typically 20% of the home's purchase price, or explore low down payment options if applicable.
  4. Create a Homebuying Timeline

    • Set a realistic timeline for your home purchase, considering factors like when your current lease ends or your desired move-in date. Your realtor can help!
  5. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

    • Contact lenders (shop around!) and get pre-approved for a mortgage to know exactly how much you can borrow - and thus which houses you can buy!
  6. Research Neighborhoods

    • Identify your preferred neighborhoods, taking into account factors like schools, commutes, amenities, and future property values.
  7. Hire a Real Estate Agent

    • Find an experienced real estate agent who can guide you through the homebuying process, negotiate on your behalf, and provide valuable insights.
  8. Consider A Rate Buydown

    • Talk to your lender ahead of time to see if a rate/point buydown makes sense or if they have any additional programs that might make your budget stretch farther.
  9. Inspect Your Finances

    • Keep your finances in check by avoiding major purchases, accumulating debt, or making significant career changes during the homebuying process.
  10. Stay Informed

    • Keep up with real estate trends, mortgage rates, and local market conditions. Knowledge is your best tool for making informed decisions.

By following these ten essential steps, you'll be well-prepared to embark on your journey to homeownership. Remember, the road to your dream home may have twists and turns, but with proper preparation, you can confidently navigate the path ahead. Good luck on your exciting adventure!


Cindy Kelly and Associates pride ourselves on delivering concierge level service with impressive results for our clients. Whether you are buying, selling or investing, we are committed to a seamless process from list to close; because your success is our success!

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