Here are some tips to help first-time homebuyers:
Take the advice
Your real estate agent is your partner and a valuable asset. They know the neighborhoods and schools and will help negotiate a fair price for the house you want. Your trusted Mortgage Professional can answer questions about how much you can comfortably afford and provide guidance at every step. Get opinions from those you trust, such as your family and friends.
Understand your costs
In addition to your monthly mortgage payment, you also pay interest, taxes, private mortgage insurance (if your down payment is less than 20% on a conventional loan) and several one-time fees at closing. These closing costs typically range from 2–6% of the total amount of the mortgage loan. Make sure you know the total cost.
Know your score
A good credit score increases your chances of being approved for a mortgage and may lower your interest rate. If your score is low, try to improve it by making your payments on time, paying the monthly minimum (or more) and keeping your existing credit card accounts with zero balances open.
Estimate how much you can borrow
You can get an estimate of how much you’ll be able to borrow by being prequalified for a mortgage. You will need to provide some basic financial information and a lender determines how much you may borrow. Prequalification is simple and usually can be done in one conversation. You may choose to start a prequalification online.
For first time homebuyers, the paperwork can be daunting. You’ll need to provide various documents, such as pay stubs, bank statements and tax forms. Make sure you know what papers you need and have them readily accessible. Your Mortgage Professional can help you determine what documents are needed.