Preparing Financially to Buy a Home
For most people, a home is the largest purchase they will ever make. Recent changes in the mortgage industry, along with evolving government regulations, require that you understand the process, your rights, and obligations. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an experienced homeowner, there is a lot to consider when it comes to financing your home.
How's your credit?
When a lender looks at your overall financial profile, your credit rating is an important consideration in qualifying for a home mortgage. Read more...
How much can you afford?
Before talking to a lender, you may want to check out our mortgage calculator to give you an idea of home your purchase budget.
Talk to a Lender
A key step in the home buying process is to talk to a professional mortgage lender. There are a variety of different types of loans for which you may qualify, and a professional lender can assist you in understanding your options and which is best for you. Read more...
Before you start looking at homes, it is a good idea to get pre-quallified by a professional mortgage lender. The will review your mortgage options with you and help you establish a budget for your purchase. They will also provide a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter which will be required when you find a home and make an offer.
Consider different types of loans
Years ago, your only option for a mortgage was a 30-year fixed rate loan with 20% (or more) down payment. More recently, lender began offering a variety of loan terms (30-year, 15-year, 40-year), adjustable rate loans (ARMs), low or no-doc loans (sometimes called "liar loans"), and loans with little or no down payment. Many of these loans contributed to the co-called "mortgage-bubble" or "housing-bubble" and lenders have gone back to more traditional programs. Today, you do have a choice in type of loan (including FHA and VA loans) as well as some specialty loan programs (Physician Loans and EnergyStar loans for example). Talk to a professional mortgage lender for more information about which loan is best for your needs, or contact us for a personalized referral to a lender.
Your Down Payment
Today's loans generally require 10% to 20% of the loan amount as a down payment (FHA and other government loans, and some specialty loans, may require less). Talk to a professional mortgage lender for more information about your down payment options.