Consumers who are thinking about getting into the housing market can take steps to get ready for the mortgage application process by ensuring that their credit report is in the best shape it can be.
A variety of factors right now are making housing purchases especially attractive. For example, mortgage rates remain low and are expected to stay that way until at least later in the spring when the Federal Reserve stops buying the mortgage-backed securities it was purchasing to help sustain the housing market during the recession.
Another reason to get into the housing market is the homebuyer tax credit, which is set to expire after June 30 for deals not closed upon by that date.
Finally, housing prices themselves may factor into a person's decision to get into the market. According to new data from Zillow.com, 65 percent of homes lost value in 2009, while just 28 percent of homes gained in price.
Zillow also found that many homeowners have little confidence in the values of their homes right now, which could be a sign that sellers will be more inclined to let their properties go at lower prices. With that in mind, building up the highest credit score possible is a wise strategy, especially for those planning to make a major purchase in the coming months.