If you are a first time home buyer, there are many complicated details you will need to know when you shop for your mortgage. Banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers all have different requirements for mortgage loans. Learn the differences between them so you can decide which is the best way to go.
Watch out for banks offering a “no cost” mortgage loan. There is really no such thing as “no cost”. The closing costs with “no cost” mortgages is rolled into the mortgage loan instead of being due upfront. This means that you will be paying interest on the closing costs.
Regardless of how much of a loan you’re pre-approved for, know how much you can afford to spend on a home. Write out your budget. Include all your known expenses and leave a little extra for unforeseeable expenses that may pop up. Do not buy a more expensive home than you can afford.
Try shopping around for a home mortgage. When you do shop around, you need to do more than just compare interest rates. While they’re important, you need to consider closing costs, points and the different types of loans. Try getting estimates from a few banks and mortgage brokers before deciding the best combination for your situation.
When considering the cost of your mortgage, also think about property taxes and homeowners insurance costs. Sometimes lenders will factor property taxes and insurance payments into your loan calculations but often they do not. You don’t want to be surprised when the tax office sends a bill and you learn the cost of required insurance.
If you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may qualify for a VA morgtage loan. These loans are available to qualified veterens. The advantage of these loans is an easier approval process and a lower than average interest rate. The application process for these loans is not often complicated.
Choose your mortgage lender many months in advance to your actual home buy. Buying a home is a stressful thing. There are a lot of moving pieces. If you already know who your mortgage lender will be, that’s one less thing to worry about once you’ve found the home of your dreams.
Look closely at lenders. There are many companies willing to lend you money to finance your home. They are not all equal. Look into the reputation of the lender and try to talk to people who have their loans through them. Reputations are hard to hide, and you will want to know how your potential lender handles business.
Research prospective lenders before you agree to anything. Never put blind faith in a lender’s representations. Ask around for information. Search around online. Go to the BBB website and look up the company. You have to know as much as possible before you apply.
When you’ve gotten your mortgage, try paying extra towards your principal every month. This will help you get the loan paid off quicker. For instance, paying an additional hundred dollars every month that goes towards principal can shrink repayment by many years.
Never assume that a good faith estimate is fact or written in stone. It is in fact not just an estimate, but one written in good faith. Always be wary of extra costs and fees that can creep into the official and formal paperwork later that drive up your total expense.
When lending is tight, making sure your credit score is good is essential to securing a favorable loan. You can order a credit report from the top three reporting agencies. Check the report for errors. Banks usually avoid consumers with a credit score lower than 620.
Keep your credit score in good shape by always paying your bills on time. Avoid negative reporting on your score by staying current on all your obligations, even your utility bills. Do take out credit cards at department stores even though you get a discount. You can build a good credit rating by using cards and paying them off every month.
You should have the proper paperwork ready in advance for a lender. Look well prepared. You’ll need a copy of your pay stubs going back at least two paychecks, your last year’s W-2 forms and a copy of last year’s tax return. You’ll also need your bank statements. Get those together before the lender asks.
Pay off more than your minimum to your home mortgage every month. Even $20 extra each month can help you pay off your mortgage more quickly over time. Plus, it’ll mean less interest costs to you over the years too. If you can afford more, then feel free to pay more.
Take note of home buying season. Usually markets will have hot and cold selling periods. The hotter the selling period, the more shady lenders are likely to be around. If you know what trend the market is in, you will better be able to guard against people looking to take advantage of you.
Opt out of credit offers before applying for a home mortgage. Many times creditors will pull a credit file without your knowledge. This can result in an immediate decline for a home mortgage. To help prevent this from happening to you, opt out of all credit offers at least six months before applying for a loan.
Before you begin to pay down your mortgage, save up for a rainy day. If you lose your job or have a major medical bill, how will you pay your monthly payments? Instead of putting money down as a lump sum, put away at least 6 months of your mortgage payments in a high interest bank account, just in case.
There is an incredible amount of information you need to know before applying for a home mortgage, and much of it is provided in this article. Whether applying at a bank, credit union or mortgage broker, remember what you learned here. Now that you are armed with this important information, begin shopping for your new home.