Once you have established that you are ready to own your own home, financially, emotionally and psychologically, the first actual step in home ownership should be to find a mortgage that is right for you. Many reputable and hardworking agents will not use their time and resources to shop for homes with a Buyer, unless they actually know that you can afford one. A pre-approval will provide you with buying power! The key to finding the right mortgage is to find a reputable lender that you feel confident and comfortable with. All of the information available to you today in the newspaper, television and online can be overwhelming. Choose a reputable bank, credit union or mortgage company, and make sure that you feel comfortable with the loan originator that will be working with you. They should be professional, courteous and honest. There are more mortgage programs available in today's market than ever, but which one is right for you?
Compare rates and be sure to get a good faith estimates of closing costs. Be sure to know not only what the monthly principal and interest payment will be, but the total monthly amount including taxes, home owners insurance and PMI, if applicable.
Know your Credit
Check your credit. Credit is even more a factor today than ever, with a staggering number of foreclosures and tightened loan requirements. The higher your credit score the lower the interest rate you will likely be able to obtain.
Think carefully about what you are prequalified to spend and choose wisely. Just because you are approved for a certain amount, doesn't mean that you will feel comfortable with a home at that value. Be sure that you will be able to maintain a lifestyle that you like once you make your monthly mortgage payments.
Find a REALTOR
Now you know that you are ready to buy a home, you know what you can afford , and it’s time to look for your house! It is especially important to have a REALTOR during your first buying experience. He or she can guide you through the process and assist you with each new step. To find an agent, start interviewing based on recommendations from friends, family and co-workers. A great REALTOR will be able to listen to your needs and match you with the perfect home for you, within your price range. Seek Honesty, Integrity, Knowledge and Professionalism. He or she should also be able to provide referrals to other professionals, such as lenders and inspectors, who can help along the way.