Are you considering a move to the Dallas-Fort Worth area? You’re in good company. Dallas is America’s fastest-growing metropolitan area. And we’re here to help you make your move smooth!
Assess Your Financial Situation
That starts with taking a snapshot of your current financial state and knowing what you need to buy a house. Key factors include:
- Credit score and debt-to-income ratio. You’ll want to know your front-end ratio, calculated by dividing monthly housing-related costs by monthly gross income. And your back-end ratio, comparing your income to your overall payments.
- Job history and proof of income. Most lenders like to see pay stubs and W2s for the past 24 months.
- Closing costs and down payments. Determine a target home price and the type of loan you’re considering to calculate how much upfront money you will need.
Research the Cost of Living
Here, a cost-of-living calculator that compares two cities comes in handy. For example, NerdWallet’s calculator estimates that the cost of living in Dallas is 32% lower than in Los Angeles. A deeper dive shows local costs for food, transportation, healthcare, and more.
Get to Know the Neighborhoods
City Data gives insights into schools, safety, parks, and other factors that impact livability. If you see a home in a neighborhood that grabs your interest, click on the zip code to get a wealth of information.
Find a Local Real Estate Agent
Finding a real estate agent you trust when you live in another state can feel like one of the more daunting tasks. When searching for an agent online, look for these two initialisms: CRS and CRP. They stand for Certified Residential Specialist and Certified Relocation Professional. These designations mean the agent has expertise that an out-of-state buyer could use.
Mortgage Pre-approval is a Must
Almost nothing will make your search for a new home less stressful than having a mortgage approval letter in hand. Want to know how much house you can afford? Want to show a home seller that you’re serious? Want peace of mind that you’re ready to make an offer when you find your dream home? Mortgage pre-approval does all that and more.