Check your credit BEFORE you start the mortgage process. Mortgage lenders will go through your credit report with a fine-toothed comb, and are going to make decisions based on how creditworthy you appear to be, including whether to offer you a loan at all … or at what rates. If you don’t check your credit score first, you stand to lose money, or your potential dream home.
Find a Financial Institution and mortgage loan officer youtrust. Get referrals from friends or family that have had a good experience. Ask for information on fees and loan terms up front. Find out what the average time to close on a loan is. Make sure you are comfortable with the person you’re talking to.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you go house hunting! A pre-approval benefits all parties involved by ensuring that prospective buyers can qualify for a mortgage on the homes they’re interested in. This can help avoid disappointment and save valuable time and money!
Ask Questions! This is a complex, major purchase. If you don’t know what something means, ask! If your lender is unable or unwilling to provide an answer, find another lender! You should be comfortable with the process.
Make sure you can truly afford to own the home. There are many other costs associated with owning a home vs. renting. While your mortgage payment may be the same as your rent, make sure you’ve accounted for costs such as property/school taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Maintenance costs alone average about 1% of the home’s value every year.
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