If you are thinking about buying your first home, you probably have a swirl of questions filling your head, including, “Will we find the house of our dreams?” and “How will we afford it?”
In today’s economy, most first-time buyers have to borrow money to purchase their home. From years of experience, we know that the first meeting you have with a Mortgage Banker can be nerve racking. After all, as a first-time home buyer, you’re filled with uncertainty; unsure of the process, worried your credit won’t measure up or you won’t have enough money for a down payment.
But guess what? Your mortgage banker/loan officer wants you to succeed. He/she will work on your behalf to find a home loan that fits your budget, your credit history and your lifestyle, so you can be truly comfortable in your new home.
What are the most common concerns and misconceptions among first-time buyers?
- You have to have a perfect credit score.
- You have to make a 20 percent down payment.
- You have to have held a single job for years and years.
- Your income has to be at least three times your monthly house payment.
Actually, none of those are true. For example, down payment amounts can range between 3.5 and 20 percent of the purchase price. It’s important to know that a mortgage banker/loan officer can work with you to improve your credit score, determine your down payment amount, and explore your purchase goals to find a solution that meets your specific needs.
So, as you prepare to meet your mortgage banker, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Take advantage of your annual free credit report so you don’t have any surprises. If you don’t have perfect credit, don’t worry. Your Mortgage Banker can help you fix blemishes on your credit report and work with you to increase your credit score.
- Consider your down payment options. How much do you have saved? Do you have the option to borrow a portion of your purchase price – the down payment, for example – from a relative?
- Think about ways you can save small amounts of money each month to put toward your home. Remember, owning your own home comes with unplanned expenses, and it’s important to be actively saving prior to purchase.
- Don’t try to cover up previous “blotches” on your credit: bankruptcy, delinquent payments, etc. Your mortgage banker can help you sort through the details.
- Don’t try to hide other debts, such as student loans, family obligations or alimony. The more your mortgage banker knows, the more they can help.
Looking for more information on purchasing your first home? Our First-time Home Buyers Guide will give you even more guidance to navigate the process. And as you begin to run the numbers and think about purchasing your first home, it’s important to talk with a Mortgage Banker who can help answer your questions and understand your options. After all, they want you to be able to buy that home. Let’s talk!