Solid Finances: The First Step in Homebuying

Don't rush into a home purchase. Unstable credit and demanding terms can undermine the experience and your financial future.

Related To:

There's no place like home, unless you have a mortgage with ridiculous terms that make paying it painful. Here's a recipe for unhappy homeownership:

  • Get a mortgage with an exceedingly high interest rate.
  • Get a mortgage that has a pre-payment penalty, meaning that if you refinance to lower your payments you'll have to pay a hefty fee.
  • Stretch your financial situation until you're not sure how you'll make the mortgage payment for the rest of the year.

Unfortunately, that's the sort of mortgage a lot of people with shaky credit end up obtaining. They end up in financial hot water instead of making a good investment.

So what gets you classified as having bad credit?

  • You’ve made a mortgage payment 60 days late.
  • You’ve declared bankruptcy.
  • You’ve been through foreclosure in the past three years.
  • You’ve had a car repossessed.
  • You’ve had a bill referred to a collection agency.
  • Your credit cards are maxed out.
  • You get paid in cash.
  • You have no credit cards.

If your credit is weak or unstable, it may be wiser to put yourself in a better financial position before buying a house. It's better to wait and get a mortgage with better terms than buy now and end up with house payments you can't make and the foreclosure boys knocking on your door.

By: Scripps Howard News Service

Next Up

HGTV's 'House Hunters' Has Fun Surprises Coming This Fall and Winter

The producers of HGTV's most iconic show have some fun surprises coming for House Hunters fans — and we have all the details.

Moving Checklist

Use this week-by-week checklist to plan your move to a new home.

'House Hunters' Throwback: How HGTV's Most Iconic Show Began

Original producers Jennifer Davidson and Tara Sandler look back at how HGTV's most iconic show has changed and where it's going.

HGTV's 'House Hunters' Spinoff Features a Bunch of Your Favorite HGTV Stars

House Hunters: All Stars will follow the same beloved format as House Hunters — but this time HGTV stars are joining all the fun.

Quiz: So You Think You're Ready to Buy Your First House?

Buying your first home is an exciting milestone, and it's likely the biggest purchase you'll ever make. So don’t jump into it without doing your homework. Take our quiz to see if you’re ready to take the big step. 

These 'Lakefront Empire' Locals Run the Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Scene

HGTV sits down with the cast of Lakefront Empire. Learn more about Peggy Albers, Amanda Smith, Cierra Grein, Gerardo Cornejo and brothers Jonas and Justin Farrell.

10 Fun Facts You Might Not Know About Christina Hall

Learn more about Christina Hall — host of HGTV's Christina on the Coast and Christina in the Country.

We Get to Ring in the New Year With Fresh Episodes of 'Celebrity IOU'

Real estate gurus Jonathan and Drew Scott can't wait for us to see what's in store. HGTV has all the details.

How Much to Tip Movers in 2023

Learn what to consider when deciding how much to tip movers for a job well done.

Watch the Sneak Peek: Everything You Need to Know About Season 4 of 'Unsellable Houses'

We're getting our Pacific Northwest real estate fix from dynamic twin duo Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

On TV

Home Town

11am | 10c

Home Town

12pm | 11c

Home Town

1pm | 12c

Home Town

2pm | 1c

Home Town

3pm | 2c

Home Town

4pm | 3c

Home Town

5pm | 4c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Vacation House Rules

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Lakefront Bargain Hunt

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

12:59am | 11:59c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

1:59am | 12:59c

Vacation House Rules

2:59am | 1:59c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.