1. Find a Mortgage Lender
Find a mortgage lender who listens to you and understands your needs. While interest rates are an essential factor, it’s also beneficial to work with a trusted, professional and experienced lender who will look out for your best interests and help you avoid unnecessary fees. We have a great mortgage team here at Marine Bank that’s happy to guide you through the process and answer all of your questions.
2. Ask Questions
Escrow, Private Mortgage Insurance, amortization, earnest money, etc…It’s easy to get caught up in the jargon of the real estate world. If you don’t understand the terms that your mortgage lender, realtor, inspector or anyone else is using, ask them to explain it to you. Everyone has to start somewhere in the real estate market; don’t be ashamed to admit that you don’t know everything.
3. Get Preapproved
Once you find the right mortgage lender for you, they will begin the pre-approval process so you can know exactly how much home you can afford. By supplying your loan officer with some financial information, they will review it and tell you exactly how much they can lend you. This will give you an idea of the homes you should be looking at based on a specific price range. It doesn’t make much sense to look at a house in the $150k-$175k price range if you can only afford a house in the $125k price range.
4. Take it Easy on Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a big part of the home buying process. Don’t make any purchases that will affect your score negatively. While looking for a home, you may also be in the market for new furniture or other large purchases, but wait until after you’ve purchased your home to get those items. Your credit score evaluates your ability to responsibly handle debt, so if your score is lowered, it will affect the amount of your loan.
5. Make a Priority List
What are the features in a home that are non-negotiable for you? What about the features that you would like, but don’t require? Make a list of priority features in a home. If you need multiple bathrooms, a garage and a basement, you’ve eliminated a large portion of homes that wouldn’t make the cut, which saves you some valuable time.