Before getting a mortgage or any kind of loan, you should always check your credit. According to the law, you're allowed to receive one free copy of your credit report per year. You can do this by visiting Annualcreditreport.com. Scores range from approximately 300 to 850; generally, the higher your score, the better loan you'll qualify for. Don't forget to check your report for errors. If there are any, dispute them. It may help your credit score. You can also check your credit score for free at www.creditkarma.com.
You can calculate how much you can afford by starting online. There are several online mortgage calculators that will help you calculate an affordable monthly mortgage payment. Don't forget to factor in money you'll need for a down payment, closing costs, fees (such as fees for an attorney, appraisal, inspection, etc.) and the costs of remodeling or furniture. Remember that you don't always have to put down 20 percent as your parents once did. There are loans available with little to no down payment. An experienced home loan expert can help you understand all your loan options, closing costs and other fees.
To find the right mortgage lender it’s best to shop around. Get recommendations from your friends and family and check with the Better Business Bureau. Talk to at least three or four mortgage lenders. Ask lots of questions and make sure they have answers that satisfy you. Make sure to find someone that you are comfortable with and who makes you feel at ease.
Once you have the right mortgage lender, make sure you at least get a pre-approval. Qualifications are only a guess based on what you tell the lender and are no guarantee, whereas a pre-approval will give you a better idea of how big a loan you qualify for. The lender will actually pull your credit and get more information about you. However, you could even take it one step further by getting an actual approval before you start home shopping. That way, when you're ready to make an offer, it will make the sale go much quicker. Besides, your offer will look more appealing than other buyers since your financing is guaranteed.
Make a list of the things you'll need to have in the house. Ask yourself how many bedrooms and bathrooms you'll need and get an idea of how much space you desire. How big do you want the kitchen to be? Do you need lots of closets and cabinet space? Do you need a big yard for your kids and/or pets to play in?
Once you've made a list of your must-have's, don't forget to think about the kind of neighborhood you want, types of schools in the area, the length of your commute to and from work, and the convenience of local shopping. Take into account your safety concerns as well as how good the rate of home appreciation is in the area.
Now that you've found the home you want, you have to make an offer. Most sellers price their homes a bit high, expecting that there will be some haggling involved. A decent place to start is about five percent below the asking price. You can also get a list from your real estate agent to find out how much comparable have sold for. Once you've made your offer, don't think it's final. The seller may make a counter-offer to which you can also counter-offer. But you don't want to go back and forth too much. Somewhere, you have to meet in the middle. Once you've agreed on a price, you'll make an earnest, which is money that goes in escrow to give the seller a sign of good faith.
There are many different types of mortgage programs out there, but as a first-time home buyer, you should be aware of the three basics: adjustable rate, fixed rate and interest-only.
Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are short-term mortgages that offer an interest rate that is fixed for a short period of time, usually between one to seven years. After that, the interest rate can adjust every year up or down, depending on the market. These are good for people who don't plan on living in their home very long and/or are looking for a lower interest rate and payment.
Fixed-rate mortgages are more traditional and offer a fixed interest rate (and thus a fixed monthly payment) for a longer period of time, usually 15 or 30 years, though they're available in 20 or 25 year terms. These are good for people who like a predictable payment and plan on living in their home for a long time.
Both fixed and adjustable rate mortgages can have an interest-only payment. What this means is that for a certain amount of time during the loan term, you're allowed to pay only enough to cover the interest portion of your payment. You can still pay principal when you wish, but don't have to if your budget is tight. There is a myth that with interest-only mortgages, you don't build equity. This is not necessarily true, since you can build equity through home appreciation. The benefit to interest-only mortgages is that you increase your cash flow by not paying principal.
Remember to ask your mortgage lender or mortgage banker lots of questions about which mortgage is right for you and your situation.
Make sure you get a home inspection before you close. It will be well-worth the money spent since it ensures the property's structural soundness and good condition.
Setting the closing date that is convenient to both parties may be tricky, but can certainly be done. Remember that you may have to wait until your rental agreement runs out and the seller may have to wait until they close on their new house.
Be sure you talk to your mortgage banker to understand all the costs that will be involved with the closing so there are no surprises. Closing costs will likely include (but are not limited to) your down payment, title fees, appraisal fees, attorney fees, inspection fees, and points you may have bought to buy down your interest rate.
You've got your mortgage, closed the deal and now it's time to move in! Whether you use a mover or not is up to you, depending on your financial situation and how much stuff you have to move; perhaps also, whether you have a lot of friends willing to help you move. Either way, you're done with the home buying process! Just start unpacking and start enjoying your first home! Buying a home for the first time doesn't have to be a hassle if you're prepared and you know what to do and when to do it. Choose an experienced home loan lender and a friendly, knowledgeable real estate agent-they are the key to helping you have a smooth home buying experience!
No one wants to contract a case of buyer's remorse. You know what I am talking about. It is that feeling that you've either paid too much or received too little. In most cases, there is no recourse for the buyer to receive recompense once the contract has been signed.
If no one wants to catch a case of buyer's remorse, why are there so many people out there who suffer from it? The answer is simple, most of these people engaged in a transaction without enough knowledge and information.
The best way to make sure that you choose the right home is to properly prepare yourself. The purchase of a home is a tremendous investment, both monetarily and emotionally. The purpose of this page is to in provide you with some tips that will help your transaction progress smoothly and result in you being a happy homeowner.
Remember, if you have any questions I am always just a phone call or email away.
Get help. Your home is likely to represent one of the largest investments in your life. In order to make sure that the transaction goes smoothly it is of vital importance that you choose the right agent to represent your interests. The right agent will be someone whose experience and personality makes you feel comfortable. You should try to find an agent that is familiar and knowledgeable about the area you plan to move into.
Get pre-approved. Do you already know how much home you can afford? There is nothing more frustrating than looking for a home, finding the perfect home, and then discovering that it is out of your price range. Speak with a lender to learn about the different financing options available to you. When you find the right lender get the paperwork processed so that you will be ready to buy when you find the right home.
Avoid major purchases. In order to determine the amount of home you can afford a lender uses your debt-to-income ratio. This ratio is the percentage of your pre-tax income that you spend on debt. Your debt ratio will include: monthly housing costs, car payments, credit cards, student loans, and any other installment debt. If you take on more debt right before buying a home it is going to have an impact on the amount of the loan that the lender will finance.
Ask Questions. No one knows the home better than the seller of the property; however it is not always in the seller's best interest to disclose all the information. If you find out the seller's motivation for selling you might be able to negotiate a better deal on the home. Try to find out the last time service was performed on the roof, furnace, and water heating. Asking the right questions now can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
Get inspected. The last thing you want to discover after you have bought a home is that you have purchased a "money pit". By "money pit" I am referring to a home that is full of defects that are going to end up costing you a lot of money. Save yourself a lot of time in future litigation and renovation by bringing in a licensed home inspector before you buy. If any problems are found it will steer you away from a bad decision or help you negotiate a better price.