If you’re ready to get serious about buying a home, there are a few things to get lined up before even browsing the listings …ok fine, you’re already doing that–but at least take these steps before you begin visiting homes and making offers!
Check Your Credit
How is your financial situation looking? Do you have any dings on your credit? Are you carrying large balances on credit cards? How is your cash flow? All of these factors affect your ability to qualify for a home loan, so take whatever steps you can to improve your financial outlook, whether it’s tightening the budget or looking for ways to make some extra money.
Note: Do not open new lines of credit while preparing to apply for a home loan.
Find a Mortgage Advisor/Lender
Your mortgage advisor will walk you through the process of submitting an application and documentation for a home loan. They’ll discuss various loan options (there are a lot out there for all types of situations!), and help you decide what you can afford. If you don’t have a mortgage advisor, contact us and we can get you connected.
Your mortgage advisor can run quick calculations to assess your situation (prequalification), but you’ll want to take it a step further and get a preapproval. When you are ready to make an offer on your dream home, you’ll want it to be accompanied by documentation of your preapproval–this shows that you are serious about the purchase, preapproval will make your offer more attractive to sellers.
Set a Budget
Your preapproval will specify a dollar amount for which you qualify, but qualifying for an amount doesn’t necessarily mean you should purchase at that price level. Your advisor will present you with options that include projected monthly payment amounts at various pricepoints–be sure you are studying those bottom-line numbers, and taking in to account other new expenses like property taxes, insurance, and increased spending on home maintenance.
As you view homes you’ll be tempted to bump up your price point–always calculate your new monthly payments to evaluate your options