The process of getting a mortgage starts before you ever set foot into a credit union or bank. In order to get the best deal on the table, here are the 10 tips that you need to know before applying for your first mortgage.
1. Using the Internet
33% of first mortgage homebuyers are using the online space to conduct initial research on real estate. Sellers are responding by putting more information online – important information that is not always available through traditional sources.
2. Getting Professional Help
You want to solidify a relationship with a reputable real estate agent before looking at a mortgage. 88% of first mortgage homebuyers use an agent. Professionals have access to more real time information and more experience with the mortgage process.
3. Taking a Class
If you would go to a class for yoga or cooking, why not go to a class for what is likely to be the biggest investment of your life? There are plenty of nonprofit organizations that provide counsel for first-time homebuyers. Simply search online for local, nonprofit home buying classes that may be available near you. Communities have a vested interest in educated residents – it helps to maintain the value of the homes in those communities.
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If you’re interested in understanding mortgages, how your credit score affects your home buying options and more, download this printable checklist.
4. Straightening Your Finances
Having the best credit possible is one of the primary ways to get a competitive mortgage interest rate. However, you should also have money in your account after your down payment – at least six months of your projected mortgage payment should be in your account in cash as well.
5. Freezing Your Money
A corollary of the above tip that is just as important: Do not make any other big-ticket purchases within a year of looking for your first mortgage. Even if your credit is great and you have cash reserves, you may get a worse deal if you try to buy a car or another large ticket item before buying a house.
6. Getting Pre-Approved
A pre-approval is not the same as applying for a mortgage. Pre-approval simply gives you an idea of your budget when you are home shopping. Staying within your range is essential for showing your lender later on that you are a responsible person who can handle a mortgage.
7. Considering the Intangibles
Make sure that the homes you are considering meet all of your criteria outside of price. Consider how much you will pay in property taxes, the surrounding school system, the distance to major highways and the crime rate of the neighborhood.
8. Researching Your Options
Depending on your eligibility, you may qualify for one (or more) of many first-time homebuyer programs that can reduce your principal payment or down payment requirements and give you other advantages. List several specific options here.
9. Considering Closing Costs
The larger that your mortgage is, the larger that your closing cost bill will be. You need to have this money in cash - about 5 to 6% of the total mortgage you plan on taking out.
10. Hiring a Home Inspector
Having a trusted home inspector on your side will streamline the home buying process immensely.
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Personal service: we’re with you every step of the way. We know the process can be complicated, so we’ve simplified it and are available to help at every turn to ensure you understand exactly what you’re signing. There are no hidden fees or sales gimmicks, our only priority is to ensure that this is the right fit for you and we can help you to own your perfect dream home.
Ready to begin the pre-approval for a mortgage loan? Start here.
This article is intended to be a general resource only and is not intended to be nor does it constitute legal advice. Any recommendations are based on opinion only.
Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change and may vary based on creditworthiness, qualifications, and collateral conditions. All loans subject to approval.