If you or someone you know is looking for a first home, knowing where to start might seem a little intimidating. But don’t be discouraged! There are lots of ways to make sure you can find (and own!) a home that is perfect for your needs. Here are five great tips on for how you can find a starter home in a hot housing market!
Click the image below to see the full infographic!
Purchasing a home is a very exciting process! As the housing market becomes more competitive, it’s even more important to be prepared so you can obtain a mortgage with the best rate. Part of this preparation includes knowing your credit score and understanding the role it plays in the mortgage process. Different types of mortgages have different credit score requirements. For example, conventional mortgages typically require that borrowers have a higher credit score, such as 720 or above, while FHA mortgages can allow for scores down to 560 (depending on the investor and other qualifications).
With that in mind, here are 7 steps you can take to prepare your credit before applying for a mortgage.
Your credit score can make the difference between whether or not you qualify for a mortgage. It can also affect your interest rate and how much home you can afford. See the tips below for keeping your credit score healthy!
For information about what's in a credit score, check out our video.
A renovation loan is a great option if you have found a home, but it needs a little TLC. A 203k Limited Renovation Loan (also referred to as a Streamline 203k), allows you to finance up to $35,000 for non-structural repairs and improvements. Perhaps you are looking for a loan that allows for kitchen or bathroom remodeling, roof replacement, or basement finishing. There are no minimum repair requirements and a great feature is the product allows you to finance up to 110% of the of “after-improved” value of the property.
The Limited 203k is also “easier” than other renovation mortgages. That means that you don’t need as much documentation as you would for other loans. There is no consultant or plan reviewer required, no detailed work write-up and you only need contractor bids and a signed contract.
Watch our renovation loan video here for more information. You can also contact your Loan Originator for more information about this product!
There’s many things to consider when you’re looking to purchase a home. It’s one of the largest financial transactions you will make in your lifetime and we want to ensure you have a smooth transaction throughout the mortgage process. Here is a list of some things you should avoid before buying.
- Not Having a Plan in Place – You’ve decided to buy a home. That’s great! During this exciting time, it’s important to have a plan for what you would like your future home to be like. Think about how much of a mortgage payment you can comfortably make and what features of a house are important to you (number of bedrooms, distance from work, property acreage, etc.). By setting expectations and communicating them to your Loan Originator, he or she can work with you to finance your perfect home.
- Not Giving Yourself “Credit” – Don’t assume you won’t be able to afford a mortgage. There are many great programs available for people from different financial backgrounds. Combined with today’s historically low interest rates, becoming a homeowner is easier than you might think!
- Not Screening Your Realtor – Working with a Realtor who you’re compatible with can make all the difference in your home buying experience. Your Realtor should know the area where you want to purchase a home and understand your needs. It’s possible that you may need to interview several Realtors to ensure you are a good match.
- Forgetting to Get Preapproved – A preapproval is a helpful tool for a homebuyer to have. A preapproval is a commitment from your lender stating how much they would be willing to lend you after evaluating your financial situation. Having a preapproval letter shows sellers and their agents that you are serious about purchasing a home and you’ve already been preapproved to purchase a home in a certain price range. This can give you leverage over other buyers who don’t have a preapproval.
- Picking a Mortgage Just for the Rate – There are many factors to consider when choosing a mortgage product, besides the interest rate. You should select a mortgage that works best for your unique financial situation. For example, a conventional mortgage might have a lower interest rate, but an FHA mortgage might provide a lower down payment option. Your Homestead Loan Originator can help you decide on the mortgage is best for you.
- Not Getting a Home Inspection – Having a home inspection done by a professional home inspector is a good way to ensure that the home you want to purchase is up to snuff. While not a requirement, lenders highly suggest taking this step before buying a house. The inspector can often spot issues that might cause problems later on. It’s also a good idea to attend the inspection personally so you can ask questions or voice concerns you might have.
- Not Knowing Your Rights (and Responsibilities) – It’s important to be educated about the mortgage process and to know what you should and should not be responsible for. You should be aware of your closing costs and any obligations you may have when you sign your contract. By knowing what is in your contract, you can avoid problems later on. Your Loan Originator and Realtor should both be able to help you understand these aspects of buying a home. They are here to help you!
If you would like more information about the home buying process and what you should know before purchasing a home, please contact your Loan Originator today!