So you have decided that the whole renting thing is getting old and for the birds! You are ready to put down some roots and become a homeowner!! Now what?!? If you are like most people this thought can feel a little (a lot) intimidating so doing your homework and formulating a plan can really ease some of this pressure.
I work with a substantial amount of first time home buyers and they come from all walks of life and financial positions, but my message is ALWAYS the same… Get pre-approved by a lender before you start looking at homes! There are so many loan options out there that to truly get a clear picture of what to expect.. You must speak to a lender or loan officer as soon as possible. And truely who wants to get there hearts set on a dream home only to find out its $20,000 more then you can afford OR you are missing out on your dream home thinking small.
Some standard items that a mortgage professional will need;
1. Pay stubs for the previous 2 months
2. FULL bank statements for the previous 2 months
3. W2’s for the previous 2 years
4. Pension, Trust, or Social Security documents or award letters.
5. A copy of your driver’s license
6. Copy of divorce decrees
7. Copy of bankruptcy paperwork
This is a very basic list of items, the more that you have during your initial visit the better! And don’t worry about making copies, bring your originals and copies can be made for you at the time of your visit.
Knowing what your mortgage payment is going to be is so important and often times missed so try not to get so caught up in just focusing on how much you qualify for, also note how much you will be paying monthly! Sometimes your maximum purchase amount does not match what you want to spend on housing so make sure you know what this number is and that it fits your budget!
Speaking of mortgage payments.. Sometimes the online versions of mortgage calculators do not include home insurance, mortgage insurance, and or taxes. You will find that a good portion of these sites are only useful for someone on the other end to capture your information. Ask around for a referral and don’t be concerned with talking to a few people before deciding who to dump your financial information on..
Now the fun begins! Once you have that preapproval in hand it is time to go shop for that dream home.. With your favorite REALTOR of course!
Check out my other blog posts on homeownership for additional ideas and tips to prepare for this big life step!