Shopping for a Home This Spring? Get a Credit Checkup

Spring may bring thoughts of your dream home – and what better time for a home search than now?

By the time summer comes you could be happily ensconced in your new home. Think outdoor living and a relaxed intro to a new neighborhood.

But before the dream turns into a full-fledged home search, there are several things to consider. One of the most important is your credit score and what that score may mean as far as your mortgage options.

To advance to the search phase, you’ll need to know what your credit score looks like now and where it ultimately needs to be for you to be in a position to purchase a home. So now is an ideal time to contact your mortgage professional to review your credit.

Indeed, you can pull your own credit, but what you need is a way to interpret what’s on the report and how it will impact you throughout the lending process. Many things that you may see as minor on your report may actually make a significant difference in accessing the programs and interest rates you want.

For example, if you carry a lot of credit card debt or if one card has a higher balance than most lenders feel is appropriate, that’s a negative. But if your mortgage advisor draws this to your attention, you’ll have time to pay off or reduce your balance before you start to search.

And the sooner you start, the sooner you can be in your dream home.

Try ‘Home Refreshing’ Rather Than Spring Cleaning

Too many people don’t have the time or energy to do a full spring cleaning. Thankfully, a quick and simple home refresh will go a long way toward making your home look new without breaking the bank or your back.

In a Houzz article, Laura Gaskill outlines several easy ways to refresh your home for spring. For example, freshen up your entry simply by sweeping and mopping the front porch and adding a new welcome mat.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a back entrance or mudroom, it’s time to clear out all the remnants of winter. Consider adding extra storage with baskets, racks, or closet organizers to keep your newly tidied mudroom or entrance clutter free. And while you’re decluttering, why not tackle clutter catchalls like junk drawers and countertops? You’ll be able to find things again, and your space will feel brand new.

Can’t remember when you last cleaned your light fixtures? You’re not alone; most of us miss this step during regular dusting.

By wiping down neglected lamps and sconces (and those ever-so-dusty light bulbs), you’ll lose the grime that’s accumulated over many months (years?). Your living space will suddenly feel so much brighter and lighter you may decide to tackle your mirrors and inside windows next.

It needn’t cost the earth (or take forever) to change up your d├ęcor. New paint is great, but you can achieve a similar result with less work by applying one of today’s trendy large-scale adhesive murals to a blank wall. The result: an instant accent space that’s easy to switch up when it’s time for a change. And don’t forget greenery-add plants and flowers to your living space for that instant spring feeling.

As you can see, spring cleaning no longer has to be intimidating. With these simple tweaks, your home will feel like spring before you know it.