Welcome, first-time home buyers! This is an exciting chapter in your life, as you make the move towards finding the perfect home for you and your family. Before you sign on the dotted line, however, there are five things to check off your “to do” list that will prove to be beneficial in making this process as easy as possible for you.
1. Have your credit reports ready for observation. Your interest rate, in regards to your mortgage, will be determined by your credit score. Professionals suggest having all credit reports gathered and organized a year before looking into buying a home. That way, there’s plenty of time to correct any mistakes that may enable you from getting the interest rate you need.
2. Plan a budget. You certainly wouldn’t want to buy a house that costs more than you can afford.
3. Select a mortgage you feel is best for you. Fixed rate loans have constant interest rates and payments, and last anywhere from 15-30 years. Adjustable rate loans have a fixed rate in the beginning, but later changes after a certain amount of time.
4. Determine your down payment. Many banks ask for at least a 20% down payment; however, first-time buyers typically qualify for an FHA loan. In this case, you would only need to pay 3.5% down payment.
5. Receive pre-approval from the bank. The bank will take a look at your income, assets, and credit. After some consideration, they will be able to inform you if you’re qualified to borrow.