Unless you are financially able to purchase a property outright, securing a mortgage is the only way to achieve home ownership. Here are some do's and don'ts when it comes to a mortgage.
- Pay your bills on time and cut down on any debt. Credit scores are crucial. Your credit score will determine if you are able to get a loan and your
- Save now for a down payment. It's no secret that the more you are able to put down, the less you have to borrow. However, it is important to note that it may make more sense to pay off high interest debt first. In other words, pay off your credit card debt and settle for less of a down payment because your mortgage interest rate should be less on the property loan.
- Shop lenders. Compare interest rates and closing costs, such as application fees and appraisals. Learn about the different types of mortgages before meeting with lenders.
- Don't make any large purchases or career changes right before the closing. Your lender will recheck your employment status and credit profile again shortly before the closing.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage, not just pre-qualified. This will expedite the home buying process and give you negotiating strength and credibility. Sellers will sometimes accept lower offers from qualified buyers, who can show they can close the deal.
- Don't get in over your head. Borrow what you can afford, not what the lender is willing to lend. Scrutinize your budget and factor in property taxes, utilities and maintenance.