Preparing Financially for the Mortgage Process

Purchasing a home is exciting and adventurous. Home buyers, particularly first-time home buyers, typically don’t know a lot about the process of financing a home. To avoid making mistakes, you need to know what you should expect. It is important to consider the state of your credit, the additional costs besides just the down payment, and the important questions dealing with the future.

 

The Credit Aspect

Your credit score is one of the first things a lender will look at when you apply for a mortgage. To cut through all that confusion, here are five tips you can act on right now:

  • Check your credit reports for free once a year through the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Why all three? Because the information in each of the three bureaus’ reports can differ. If one or all of the reports include mistakes, your credit score may be negatively affected, and you may need to address the errors before going house shopping.
  • Be strategic with credit card use. The percentage of your credit limit that you use every month can affect your score. Make sure your balance doesn’t come too close to your limit.
  • The simplest and most important tip? Pay off your balance each month. To maintain a healthy score, pay off the balance before the due date. Anything after 30 days past the due date can spell very bad news for your score.
  • Be consistent. Good credit behavior over the long term will keep your score high.
  • Don’t take on more credit. If you apply for several different credit cards, you’re sending a message that you may have maxed out your other accounts

 

Save enough for the down payment and other additional fees

You should plan to make a down payment of 3.5% – 5% at the very least when you are determining affordability. It is important to consider that down payments are not the only costs associated with the purchase of a home. Your lender should be able to provide you with a breakdown of your costs that you will be paying upfront and on a monthly basis. Here are some basic tips to help you save for the costs associated with buying a home:

  • Start a budget: Making a budget allows you to see your expenses, how much money is coming in, and what is left over to save or pay off debts. When you have a savings goal it, helps prioritize your money by eliminating or cutting down on unnecessary expenses.
  • Automate: Once you have created a budget and figured out how much you can comfortably save each month or paycheck, set up a specific amount or percentage of your paycheck to go to savings automatically. For some, it helps to open up an entirely separate savings account for their home’s down payment and expenses. This method allows you to see how much you are saving specifically for the home buying process and keeps you from accidentally spending this money on something other than your new home.
  • Increase your income: If you are worried about cutting back expenses, or just want to save for your down payment faster, consider finding ways to increase your income. Some ideas include working overtime, getting a second job, or finding alternative ways to making money such as selling items online.
  • Save any unexpected money: When you get a large sum of money, such as a bonus or your tax refund, itis all too easy to take on the extra cash and purchase that one expensive thing you’ve had your eye on for months. Instead of going on a shopping spree, take that money and put it into your savings right away to help you achieve your dream of homeownership sooner.

 

Affordability now and in the future

Regardless of the level of income you have today, you need to figure out what the future may hold before you sign on the dotted line. For example, if you’re planning to have kids sometime down the road, how will these happy additions impact your family income? What effect will job changes have on your current income level? And have you planned for monthly payments into your rainy day savings account?

Everyone who looks to buy a home will have a payment amount that is affordable today, but in the face of your answers to the questions above, will that number still work for you down the road? These are some questions to consider as you think about homeownership.

 

Feel free to talk with a loan officer in your area to determine if homeownership is the right path for you!

Buying Better Than Renting

Buy-or-rent

According to Trulia’s blog, buying a home is still cheaper than renting a home in all of the 100 largest metro areas in America.

Buying Better Than Renting

Trulia’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko, says homeownership is 35% cheaper than renting in all of our nation’s largest metro areas. How can this be? Put simply, even if mortgage rates are rising, they are still very low historically. Home prices are rising too – but only after hitting devastating lows. The truth is that prospective borrowers are facing increasing rates, prices and pressure – especially when you consider that buying was 45% cheaper than renting one short year ago.

Making Rent or Buy Decisions

Renting versus buying decisions depend on where you live, what mortgage rate is available, the tax bracket you fall into, how long you plan to stay in your home and more. Use Trulia’s Rent vs. Buy interactive map to see how variations in mortgage rates and tax brackets may alter a prospective home buyer’s decision. Trulia factors in total costs of homeownership into its calculations – including taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.

More Than Numbers

Buying a home is more than just crunching numbers. Home ownership is an American rite of passage. Visit our blog for more information for First Time Home Buyers.

Low Down Payment Lending Options

According to a recently released report by the Federal Reserve, 48% of home purchases were made via low down payment options available through the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Housing Administration. Inlanta Mortgage is pleased to offer both FHA and VA mortgage loans. Inlanta Mortgage also offers USDA rural development loans to those who meet eligibility requirements. USDA, VA, and FHA loans are well suited to those who do not have 20% down payment. Use our branch locator to find an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer near you or apply online now.

About Inlanta Mortgage – Celebrating 20 Years

2013 marks Inlanta Mortgage’s  20th Anniversary! We are looking forward to the next 20 years. Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs here.

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS #1016. Inlanta Mortgage is proud to be named to the Scotsman Guide Top Mortgage Lenders 2012 list and to be among the Top 100 Mortgage Banking Companies in America in 2012 and Fastest Growing Milwaukee-Area Firms.