- Check your credit record and fix any inaccuracies. A solid credit history is critical to qualifying for an optimal home loan.
Try to avoid adding significant amounts to existing credit accounts during your home hunt.
- Assess your savings. How much do you have available for a down payment and closing costs? The more you can pay upfront, the more home you may be able to afford or the less you may have to borrow.
In some cases, having additional savings equal to about six months of mortgage payments may help you qualify for a mortgage.
- Define what you can afford. Remember that your total monthly payment will include not only the mortgage, but also home insurance and property taxes. If you were previously renting, plan on greater expenses for home maintenance, repairs and utilities, too.
To make sure you'll truly be comfortable with your new budget, try living within it for a while as you prepare for and begin your home hunt.
- Find a lender and get pre-approved. A pre-approval means that the lender has reviewed your credit background and believes you can qualify for a specific home loan amount. Sellers favor pre-approved buyers, who may be better positioned to quickly obtain a mortgage and complete the purchase.
- Learn about different types of mortgages, particularly the difference between adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and fixed rate mortgages.
Rabobank Mortgage Loan Representative can help you get a no-cost pre-approval and learn more about your mortgage options.
Know What You Want
- Investigate neighborhoods. Learn about home values, crime rates and other key lifestyle factors, such as schools, public transportation or restaurants.
- Pinpoint your home-type preferences. Would you consider a condominium or townhome? Do you have your heart set on a specific architectural style?
- Define your needs and wants. Consider square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage size, floor plans, amenities, yard features and so on. Think about your desires today as well as a few years down the road - for instance, if you plan to start a family.
- Know your priorities. Decide now where you are and are not willing to compromise. Maybe having three bedrooms is a must, but you don't mind a smaller living room.
Last But Not Least...
- Select a real estate agent. Talk with friends, family and co-workers for referrals, or use online search engines such as the one at the National Association of Realtors® website.
With these prep steps handled, you'll be well on your way to an efficient shopping experience - and finding the home of your dreams.
Contact your local Rabobank Mortgage Loan Representative to get started today
The information contained in this article is intended for general educational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal, tax, or financial advice. Please consult with your own legal, tax or financial advisor for guidance with your own particular circumstances.