As a first-time home buyer, you may be quite overwhelmed at the thought of obtaining a mortgage. There seems to be so many options, and the process of finding a home loan program and applying for it leaves you feeling nervous and more than stressed out! However, the mortgage process is not so intimidating if you take it one step at a time:
- Consider how much money you can spend on a new home – Before you even look at your first property, consider how much of a home you can afford. It simply doesn’t make sense to waste your time and build up your hopes, only to learn that you cannot afford as much of a house as your first thought. In addition to considering a monthly housing expense, add in the cost of taxes, as well as utilities and the cost of maintaining and updating your home.
- Talk to a professional - In addition to carefully reviewing your finances, now is the time to sit down with a mortgage broker and get preapproved for a mortgage for a Spring property. A mortgage preapproval will accomplish a number of things: it will check your credit to make sure you can be approved for a mortgage; it will allow you to understand how much of a mortgage you can be approved for; and it will give you instant credibility among home sellers and realtors.
- Consider how much money you need for a down payment – One of the biggest ways lenders have changed as a result of the recession and housing downturn of the last, few years is that they want to see down payments. If you want to be approved for a home loan with a competitive interest rate, you will likely need to come to the table with a down payment totaling between 15 and 20 percent of the sales price of the home.
- Consider what type of home loan is best for you – Although the days of “no money down” home loans are gone, there are still a number of very attractive home loan programs for first-time home buyers. It is best to look into different programs, through a number of different lenders, to see which one works best for your financial situation.