IN THE MARKET TO BUY? Here are five steps that will get you off on the right foot:
GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER Your credit reports are an ongoing look at how you manage your finances. It’s best to know what your credit reports say about your financial history before you apply for a mortgage. Your reports play an important role in the mortgage approval process and in determining the interest rate and other loan terms that a lender offers you.
GET FAMILIAR WITH THE MORTGAGE INDUSTRY Finding the right loan and lender is crucial. It’s up to you to determine which lender is best for your needs, and it’s always a good idea to have some background about the loan process before you talk to a lender.
HOW SHOULD THIS BE ACCOMPLISHED? GET PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE Consider this scenario: A home seller gets two similar offers. One is accompanied by a letter from the buyer’s bank that states she is pre-approved for a mortgage in the amount of the offer. The other has no supporting documents. Which offer do you think the seller will consider first?
DETERMINE YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS Buying a home isn’t as difficult as you might think. You can make it even easier if you get familiar with your local real estate market ahead of time, and make a list of your wants and needs before you start looking at houses.
LEARN TO WORK WITH YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT Real estate agents represent buyers, sellers, or both -and in some cases they an work as neutral facilitators for either party. Know what you want from a real estate agent and be clear about his or her duties and loyalties.