Getting Ready to Buy a First Home?

Choosing the Right Mortgage Lender

Picking a mortgage lender is a big decision. After all, they’ll be handling what’s likely the biggest transaction of your life (not to mention managing your loan for decades to come). 

Want to make sure you choose right? Here’s how:

  • Ask for referrals from friends, neighbors and your agent.
  • Read reviews on each lender you consider. Check the reviews around the web. Google Business Reviews.
  • Compare rates and closing costs. Make sure you’re comparing the same things, too.
  • Look beyond costs. Consider their reputation, average closing times and even how easy/digital their process is.
  • Make sure to ask your agent, too. They’ll know highly-rated lenders in your area.

What to bring when applying for a mortgage? Check out a mortgage checklist here with things to avoid when under contract is also covered.

Know Your Mortgage Options

When it comes to buying a home, there are many mortgage products you can use to help. 

  • Here are some of the more common mortgage loans to choose from:
  • FHA loans for first-time home buyers and low- to medium- income earners
  • VA loans for veterans and military members
  • USDA loans for buyers in rural areas
  • Conventional loans for those with solid credit and a decent down payment

How Much Home Can You Afford?

Buying a home, but not sure what price range to look in? 

First, determine what monthly payment you could comfortably manage. In general, you don’t want to spend more than 30% of your monthly income on housing. You should also make sure to leave enough cash flow to cover other bills, debts and expenses you might have. 

Then, you can use a mortgage calculator to work backward and see what price range that puts you in. Don’t forget you’ll need cash up front for the down payment and closing costs. You’ll also want to factor in moving costs as well. 

Finally, tap your agent and loan officer for more guidance.

How to Speed Up Your Home Purchase?

Buying a home can often be a time-consuming undertaking – but it doesn’t have to be.

Want to speed up your purchase? Here’s how:

  • Act fast when there’s a home you like. If you like a property, put in an offer that day.
  • Get pre- approved for your mortgage. This will speed up your loan approval.
  • Have all your financial documentation organized for your pre approval.This should include recent bank account statements, pay stubs, W-2s, tax returns, etc.
  • Respond quickly. When your agent needs your input or your loan officer requests something, respond immediately.
  • Remember that any delays on your end will only delay your closing, so act with urgency and stay in touch.

Risks of not using a real estate agent.

Home buying advice from around the web

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