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Graduating from college is an exciting stage of life. You have a new adventure ahead as you consider your professional aspirations and what the rest of your life may look like. Maybe you have some serious plans with a significant other as well. 

As you consider how the rest of your life will play out, one thing to consider is where you will live. Whether you are open to any city with a job or have a specific state you have fallen in love with, you will need a place to call home. For many recent graduates, the dream of owning a home may become a reality in the near future. 

However, getting ready to own a home is not as simple as it sounds. Homeownership comes with a lot of responsibility, and when you are younger, this might be more responsibility than you want. That does not mean it is too early to start planning for the future. Here are some tips to consider if you want to go for buying a house as a new grad one day. 

Start Building Credit

Welcome to the age of credit scores. As an adult, you will find that your credit score has a significant impact on your life. A credit score is used to assess how reliable you are as a borrower, specifically in terms of paying back debts. Debts that affect your credit score include student loans, car loans, credit cards, and home loans. The higher your credit score, the easier it will be to qualify for financing options when you enter the market for a house. The sooner you start building your credit, the better. Make sure you keep up with all debt payments. Always pay the full amount owed rather than just the minimum. Keep your credit balance utilization rates low, and consider becoming an authorized user on a credit card owned by someone who is financially responsible, like a parent. These steps will help you build a strong credit history and demonstrate your financial responsibility to potential lenders. 

Find Strong Economies

Choosing the right place to buy a home is key to successful homeownership. As a recent graduate, you are probably on the hunt for a solid career if you don’t have a position lined up already. While homeownership could be a few years off, it is never too early to consider how local economies affect the housing market. For example, should you look for jobs in the tech sector in Charlotte, North Carolina, since the growing economy is great for young professionals? Is it better to shoot for a state with a low cost of living but strong economic metrics, like Texas or Michigan? Are FHA loans in Idaho easier to buy a house with because of an ideal job market? When you think about eventually buying a home, look for areas with positive economic outlooks.

Save for a Down Payment

One of the biggest obstacles to homeownership is the down payment. When you buy a house, most lenders will require a certain percentage of the home’s price to be paid upfront. For a conventional mortgage, the recommended amount is 20%. While other financing options will allow much smaller percentages, there are also closing costs to consider. If you have not already started saving money in college, building up a significant down payment can take a while. Start budgeting for the upfront costs of homeownership early so you can make smart financial decisions today. 

Take on More Responsibility

Owning a home sounds like a dream to many college graduates. The space is yours to do what you want, and there is more privacy from neighbors, which you may have seriously lacked in college. However, homeownership comes with a lot more responsibility. There is no landlord or RA to help handle maintenance issues. If repairs or upgrades are needed, those burdens fall on your shoulders. Some homebuyers may not be ready to take on all the tasks associated with caring for a home. You may not even have the time to do all these chores, what with a new career beginning or taking online courses to save money for the future. Make sure you are prepared for the hard work required to care for a house before you think about buying one. 

Is a Home Part of Your Dream?

Not every recent college graduate is interested in buying a home. Often, young professionals crave the flexibility of renting or having roommates to save money and keep their career options open. However, someday, you may desire the investment opportunity and privacy of your own home. Planning for that eventuality now is the best way to prepare for it. Think about how you can build your credit score, save for a down payment, and put yourself in the best position to become a successful homeowner in the future. 

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