Buying a home can be a long and tedious process, and that’s not even including all the time spent searching for the perfect home. But because it’s a big purchase, it’s necessary that the mortgage process take a fair amount of time. Applications need to be filled out and double-checked by processors, credit reports need to be submitted and any errors found within need to be corrected. You’re asking to borrow a lot of money, so everything needs to be aboveboard.
But before you even get to the application process, there are some steps you, as a future homebuyer, need to take before ever signing your name on a mortgage.
HOW MUCH ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY/CAN AFFORD?
Determining how much you’re willing to spend on your mortgage every month is your first step. Not only does this give you a spring board to work from in finding the right home, but will also help you determine every other financial decision from there on out.
HOMEOWNERSHIP COUNSELOR THROUGH HUD.GOV FOR APPROVED COUNSELING AGENCIES
If you’re unsure about how to begin assessing your finances for this kind of purchase, www.hud.gov
has a list of approved counseling agencies across the country that will be more than happy to help answer your questions and put you on the right path to homeownership. Their experience will be invaluable to you as a first time homeowner.
SHOP AROUND FOR LENDERS
Don’t just go with the first lender you talk to. Some lenders may have special pricing or financing depending on any number of factors. Dig deep into your options to find out which lender may be the right fit for you.
ASSESS ALL POSSIBLE FEES, TAXES, OR PAYMENT PENALTIES WITH YOUR LENDER BEFORE SIGNING
This ties into the advice above; make sure your lender has shown you all the possible fees, taxes, or possible financial bumps you may run into along the way. You might have prepared for a certain amount in your monthly payments, but extra fees can add up quickly.