House Hunting Tips Part I: Getting Financially Ready to Buy a Home
Are you thinking about buying a home? If you've done your share of house-hunting before, you know that finding that perfect house can be an exhausting endeavor financially, physically and emotionally.
In this Part I of our Home Buying checklist series - we're going to review the financial prep work necessary to get the most out of your house hunting.Getting Financially Ready to Buy a Home1. Check your Budget
Take a look at your regular income and expenses to gauge how a higher or lower mortgage payment may affect you financially. If you don't have a budget on paper - we invite you to use our monthly spreadsheet tracker here
.2. Get your income documents in order
When you talk to your mortgage professional
, they are going to want to know your income. The more specific you can be about these numbers - the better. Get your tax returns and/or W-2's and double check the numbers.Save time and money with a SMARTER way to shop for your next home with our Home Shopper Worksheet. Get your copy here »3. Talk to a Mortgage Loan Officer
Before you go any further, talk to a mortgage professional to discuss your goals and review your financial picture. They'll be able to give you a better idea of different loan programs available and what kind of down payment may be required.4. Pull a Credit Report
This will most likely be done by your loan officer or you can visit www.annualcreditreport.com to see your free profile. Keep in mind that "FICO" scores on your credit card statements are not the same scores as lenders use for mortgage loans. If there are any errors or issues with your credit report - your mortgage professional can work with you to resolve or remove the problems.5. Get Pre-Qualified
Once your mortgage professional
has pulled your credit and gone over your income documents, they can provide your with a letter that states the amount you are "pre-qualified" to receive financing for. This letter will be essential when looking at homes and writing an offer to a seller. Most realtors will want you to have a pre-qualification letter before you go out looking for homes.Watch for House Hunting Tips Part II: Getting Physically Ready to Buy a Home
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