You’re ready to take the plunge into home ownership. Now what? There’s a lot to do before you can start picking out new furniture. Knowing what to expect, and what steps to take, can make the process easier. Read on to learn how to start the home-buying process.
If you’re curious how much you may qualify to borrow, getting prequalified can be a valuable step in the home-buying process. It’s quick and easy to do, and depending on the type of prequalification, may not affect your credit report. You’ll need to provide some basic financial information, such as debt, income and assets. With this knowledge you’ll be able to answer: How much house can I afford? Or crunch your own numbers to estimate your monthly payment, affordability and more.
Prequalification helps you see how much you might be able to borrow.
Every homebuyer’s financial situation is different, so your mortgage should be tailored to fit. But with so many types of mortgages, how do you know which one is best for you?
Conventional mortgages are popular options for those with good credit. They generally have fewer restrictions than government-backed loans, but they’re not the only option. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans offer lower credit and down payment requirements for qualified home buyers. If you’re a Service member, Veteran or eligible surviving spouse, a Veterans Affairs (VA) loan could be good option for you.
There are plenty of other options, including adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and jumbo loans. Compare mortgage options to learn more on your own, or contact a mortgage loan officer to help you determine the best loan to meet your specific needs.
If you want to show sellers you’re serious about making an offer, getting pre-approved is the way to go. It can give you an edge over other buyers in a competitive market and let you move quickly through the process once you find your dream home.
Wondering how to get a mortgage pre-approval? Unlike prequalification, it requires some extra paperwork such as W-2s, pay stubs, bank statements and tax returns. It also involves pulling your credit score and history. With this information, your lender will be able to determine your loan amount, so you can shop for homes within your price range. A pre-approval only lasts 90 days, so it’s best to wait until you’re ready to start shopping.
Okay. You’ve found your dream home and the seller has accepted your offer. Here’s what you can expect during the mortgage process, from application to closing.
You’ve made it to the final step in the home-buying process. All the planning, preparation and waiting are finally over. But before you get the keys to your new home, you have one more thing to do.
At your closing, you will meet with your closing agent to sign all your mortgage documents. Take your time, make sure you understand what you’re signing and don’t be afraid to ask questions. And voilà, once you’ve dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s, you’ll officially be a homeowner!
The closing process doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking if you know what to expect. We can help you prepare for this exciting step, so your big day is a success.
We understand how overwhelming the home-buying and mortgage process can be. You can count on us to help you through it. Buying a home can be one of the most exhilarating – and stressful – moments of your life. But finding a home you can call your own makes it all worthwhile.
See if “buying points” is right for you.
Determine which is right for you.
Learn about annual percentage rate (APR).