Buying your first home should be an exciting experience. But how do you begin to navigate the whole process?
- Get Pre-Approved
The only way to truly know how much home you can afford is to speak with a lender. Getting pre-approved lets you know that amount before you begin shopping for your home.
Important things to know:
Income: Stable income assures a lender you can make your monthly mortgage payment.
Debt: Add up auto payments, credit card payments, student loans, alimony, child support, and any other debt you may have.
Cash: Total assets, amount in a checking and savings accounts, and other programs.
- Determine Monthly Mortgage Payment including Escrow.
- Escrow is a third party account used to retain funds including the property owner's real estate taxes and hazard insurance premiums. Escrow is only applicable in certain loan programs.
- Understand Bill Associated with Homeownership
- Estimate that those will likely cost one percent of the purchase price per year to maintain your home.
- Establish Future Priorities and Plan for the Unexpected.
- What are your needs for the new home - new items such as furniture or lawn equipment?
- Perhaps a new car is in your future?
- Do you plan to have children?
- How long will you manage to make any type of payment due to loss of job?
There are many factors that can change the outcome of your loan. We've listed a handful below, as a way to help smooth the loan process.
- It is extremely important that you withhold from making any major life changes immediately before or during the loan process.
- Don't quit your job, change jobs (though this may not be a big issue, and may depend on the following factors such as: whether you stay in the same industry, and if your salary is equal to or greater than your prior job), or become self-employed.
- No large purchases, such as vehicles (or you may be living in it!).
- Refrain from co-signing on any loan but yours.
- Don't spend money that you have reserved for your down payment or closing costs.
- Making any changes to your credit, such as opening new credit accounts, overspending on credit cards, or closing an account without guidance from an Advisor.
- Do not originate any inquiries into your credit.