Before you start looking for a home, there are critical elements that should be decided.
- Determine the best mortgage for your situation.
- Understand the approval process and criteria lenders utilize to qualify what you can afford to pay.
- Selecting a lender.
Determining the Best Mortgage
Today’s mortgage market offers you many choices for financing your home. But there is much more to the loan process than interest rates and points. When you are well educated in the mortgage process and your options, and have the proper information on all aspects of financing, you will be more comfortable in choosing the best program for you. There are 3 main areas regarding your home purchase that ultimately affect what loan program is best for you:
- Your Financial Status (Current situation and history)
(a) your assets and what amount you will be using for down payment and closing costs
(b) your income – gross income, type and length of employment, stability of your employment and the likelihood that it will continue
(c) your current liabilities and monthly payments, and your credit history. The lender’s approval of your loan is primarily based on your available assets to purchase, and on acceptable ratios of both housing and total debt obligations to your total income.
- Your Future Plans or Time Horizon for your home
The plans you have for your home – how long you plan to live in it, the likelihood that you might be transferred or change employers; the likelihood that you will move due to changes in your family – a larger home for a growing family or downsizing when the children go off on their own; the likelihood that your income will increase substantially in the next few years.
- Your Desires in a Home
The total price you will be paying for your home, your desired down payment and monthly mortgage payment.
A description of the different types of loan programs. There are primarily 2 types of loans – fixed rate and variable rate. There are more specific types of fixed rate loan variations – conventional, FHA and VA, Jumbo, and some areas also have City or County sponsored Down payment assistance programs for limited times.
A one page form that you can print and complete – summarizes the categories and ratios listed above.