Buying a home can be stressful and intimidating, especially in these uncertain times. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a veteran homeowner, everyone can benefit from guidance from industry professionals. Here are some do’s and don’ts of the homebuying process to keep in mind as you look for your dream home.
Start saving for your dream home sooner rather than later! If you are able to put a larger down payment on your new house, then the principal amount of your mortgage loan will be lower; which in turn means less interest will accumulate over the life of the loan.
If you are planning to change jobs, wait until you secure your mortgage and move into your new home. If you start a new job while you are in the middle of getting approved for a mortgage, it can complicate your qualifications and delay securing your loan.
If you maintain a good credit score, you’ll have more loan options and be qualified to secure a lower interest rate. Keep your credit score high by making credit card payments on time and consolidating multiple credit cards into a single card with a lower interest rate. Also, keep a low balance to help improve your debt utilization ratio and credit score.
When getting approved for a loan, mortgage lenders comb through your finances and check for a variety of red flags. For example, if you make large cash deposits to your bank account that cannot be traced to a legitimate source, this will raise some questions. So if you want to deposit that life savings you keep safely under your mattress, wait until you secure your home loan. Or, you can deposit it and wait until a few monthly banking cycles occur to season the funds for 60 days.
This is a vital step to take early in the homebuying process. You do not want to start shopping for homes and fall in love with your dream house, only to discover that you cannot afford it. Reach out to a local, independent mortgage broker to take you through the pre-approval process and provide you with multiple options with wholesale rates. Find out what type of loan you qualify for and what your limitations are before beginning your search. Working with a home financing professional will help you understand your options better and make you more confident in your decision.
This will only lead to disappointment. If you find your dream home and are desperate to buy it, and then find out that you do not qualify for a loan large enough to cover the costs, you will be devastated. Meet with an independent mortgage lender first, get pre-approved for a loan, and then shop for homes within your budget.
Enlist the help of a local real estate agent to help you sort through local listings, especially if you are moving to a new area that you are not familiar with. Local agents will help you successfully navigate the local market and find home options tailored to your wants, needs, and budget. Don't just use a realtor that is a friend or family member; you want someone who is tenured, professional and well known in their area of expertise.
Big banks or large national lenders only have one set of rates and guidelines, you will either fit into their box or you won't. They will not shop for the best terms because they only have what is available to them and that may not be the best fit for your specific needs and budget. A local independent mortgage broker will take the time to not only sort through the loan options and interest rates from wholesale lenders, but will also be a source of information and support throughout your home buying process.
Imagine that you find your dream home, secure a good mortgage, and move in… only to find out you have an unstable foundation and a termite problem! In fact, 86% of buyers who opted for a home inspection reported that their inspector found at least one problem that needed to be addressed. Before you sign on the dotted line, hire professional home inspectors to take a thorough look at your new home.
Like your mattress savings, wait to make any big ticket purchases until after you secure your mortgage. Hold off on that new car or boat, or on opening a new credit card. These purchases will affect your credit report, which can delay your loan approval.
CPF Mortgage is a family-owned and operated independent mortgage company and broker that provides expert home-financing support and devoted customer service. For more information about the state of the market and your homebuying options, contact us today.
Check out this helpful infographic with more dos and don’ts of the homebuying process!