Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Your First Mortgage: What First Time Buyers Should Know


For first time homebuyers, the mortgage qualification process is often much more difficult than finding the starter home of their dreams. If you decide that you're ready to purchase your first home but aren't sure how or where to start, here are four helpful tips for getting the ball rolling right into home ownership.

1. Check your credit. If your credit rating is not any good, you're going to have a hard time getting anyone to lend you a large amount of money. There are several free sites potential first time homebuyers can visit to find out how they're being rated by the three major credit agencies. Lenders will use these scores to determine your trustworthiness, so it's important that you're not surprised by what it says. If you find any errors, you can have them corrected.

2. Get your documents in order. To get pre-approved for a loan, you'll need to have several documents in hand to show the lender that you can afford to make the monthly payments. You'll need to have your tax returns from the past couple of years, bank account statements to show that you have enough savings for a down payment, and paystubs for a more recent confirmation of income. You'll also need your social security number on hand so the mortgage company can run your credit.

3. Decide what size home you can afford. Your monthly payments will be made up of much more than just the principle and interest of the loan. Included in your payment will likely be your local property taxes, the homeowner's insurance on the home, any flood insurance, and the monthly mortgage insurance premium if you choose not to put down at least 20% of the selling price up front. Research the costs of these factors in your area for an idea of what they will add to your monthly payments.

4. Pick a lender or two. Make an appointment to talk with a mortgage representative near you. You'll also want to talk with a local lending company or your bank. Going to more than one place may help you understand the process best, and you'll be able to compare terms to get a better deal. They will help talk you through the process and ensure that you understand the terms of the loan. Further, if you qualify, the lending agent will also be able to offer you pre-approval for a loan, which will help in the negotiation process once you find your dream home.

Getting approved for a mortgage can be a confusing process, especially for first time homebuyers. By being prepared to qualify for a loan before you find the right home for you, you'll be able to spare yourself the heartache of missing out on it because you didn't qualify for the loan. Once you have your financing squared away, you can let the searching begin!

In Dallas, mortgage options are easy with Benchmark Bank. Learn more at https://www.benchmarkbank.com.
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