Is this the year you’ve settled the question and will be purchasing a home of your own?
This past year, inventory of available homes for sale has been tighter than in past markets. Taking that into consideration, you don’t want to get caught unprepared! Some disappointments can be easily avoided; like the disappointment of finding exactly the house you want to make your future memories in, but then losing it to someone else’s dream because you don’t have your financial situation lined up and ready to go.
While the interest rates remain at the lowest they’ve been for over a decade, here are suggestions to help you put your best foot forward as you seek out the right mortgage lender.
- There are almost as many loan packages available as there are lenders to choose from. Take the time to make a few calls, ask the tough questions and compare the rates, down payment requirements and additional fees that may be charged. Not every mortgage is created equal. Do your homework and you could save thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage
- Make no unnecessary changes to your employment or your overall financial picture right before or during the hunt for your perfect home. Even if you have already been issued a pre-approval letter by a Lender, any changes to your circumstances can also change your status! Promotions and income increases can be a good thing, but check with your lender for how they will affect your standing before you make any change. Don’t assume taking a new job for more money won’t change your approval status
- Forget about those easy “pre-qualifications”, insist on a full application being completed. A good Sellers agent will have advised their client those pre- qualifications don’t mean a mortgage is locked in. This leaves you vulnerable to a buyer making the same offer but presenting the seller with a firm mortgage approval in place and ready to move forward. Do the full mortgage application and make an offer that includes a firm mortgage approval letter
Having the cash on hand, preferably in an interest bearing savings account, to cover the closing costs, any down payment amount and an additional amount equal to one or two months of your estimated mortgage payment will go a long way to making you very attractive to a mortgage lender. It could also lead to your being eligible for more favorable terms like a lower interest rate or less points to be paid up front. You may choose to request the seller cover closing costs, and if they agree, that gives you extra cash for new window treatments, new furniture or to cover other unexpected costs of new home ownership you may encounter.
Taking these measures will demonstrate to a mortgage lender that you are responsible and ready to move forward with the purchase of a new home. Anything that makes a lender look more favorably on you in consideration of a mortgage will also move you that much closer, that much quicker to realizing your dream of owning your own home.