There are several steps you can take in your exploration of owning a home. Knowing what will be expected and taking some initial steps can make the process go more smoothly in the long run.
CHECK YOUR CREDIT
Credit companies provide annual free credit reports to anyone requesting one. There are 3 companies (Experian, Transunion, Equifax) so get a report from each one.
Review the reports for mistakes, unpaid accounts or collection amounts. Paying accounts on time is important. It’s also important to understand the calculation of the amount of credit you’re using relative to your available credit limit, or the credit utilization ratio. The lower the ratio the higher your credit score will be.
EVALUATE ASSETS AND LIABILITIES
So, you don’t owe too much money and your payments are up to date. How do you spend your money? Do you have leftover money every month or are you on a tight budge? You should have a good idea of what is owed and what is coming in and going out.
You should have a minimum employment history of 2 years but less is okay if you have transferred to another job in the same field. Self-employed or independent contractor individuals will need to show a 2-year earnings history.
When you apply for a mortgage you will need several documents. Use this list from Bankrate to help you compile them: documents for mortgage application.
Buying a home can take some time and patience but knowing what you need can save you time later.
Ideally, you already know how much you can afford to spend before the lender tells you how much you qualify for. A mortgage calculator from Prosperity Home Mortgage can help you here: estimate mortgage amount.
Find out what you can afford, know how much money you can put down and the third piece, home price, can be worked out with the lender.
FIGURE OUT YOUR DOWN PAYMENT
Most loan programs will require that you, the home buyer, contribute an amount of down payment based on a percentage of the home price. Additional forms of down payment funds may be available to you from a variety of sources such as a gift, borrowing from a 401k or local, state, or federal funds that may be available to assist buyers with qualifying incomes and situations.
You’re now ready to speak with a lender and further explore the home ownership possibility. Check with friends, family or the real estate agent you plan to use to find out which lenders they enjoy working with and why. You will want to ask the lender the questions you have about the process and they should provide you with complete and satisfactory answers. There will be other steps involved in the process and they should give you a basic idea of what you should expect.
This article composed with the help of Bankrate and Prosperity Home Mortgage information and articles.