Before you look at your first house, you should review your credit report and check it for inaccuracies. Once per year, you can get a free copy of your credit report at: annualcreditreport.com. Before you contact a bank or mortgage company, review the report and clean up any past issues and make sure there are no inaccuracies or mistakes. To qualify for a mortgage, you will need to meet the minimum credit qualification standards.
If you are a first-time buyer or have had credit issues in the past, it is a good idea to talk to your family and friends and ask them to refer a mortgage professional that they have had a good experience with when they applied for a mortgage. To apply for a mortgage, you will need at a minimum the following documentation: pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, and other personal information. If possible, try and meet your loan officer face to face. This will give you peace of mind and reduce stress. If you are concerned your mortgage could be denied, be sure that you apply for a fully underwritten mortgage pre-approval. A pre-approval will take longer to complete than a pre-qualification, but it will eliminate unforeseen issues such as: employment history verification, residencies history questions, verified funds, past credit issues, and other potential problems. During the pre-approval process, your loan officer should thoroughly review any mortgage programs and down payment options that may benefit you.
Once your pre-approved for a mortgage. Review your budget and determine the maximum monthly mortgage payment that you are comfortable with and the total funds you have available to purchase your new house. When buying a house, remember to include all expenses, such as: upfront costs (appraisal fee, insurance, warranties, and inspections), down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses. Both the real estate agent and mortgage loan officer should be able to give you an itemized estimate of the likely expenses associated with purchasing your new home.
Next determine, what features you need and want in a house and what cities would be the most desirable to you and your family?There may be many well maintained and affordable homes available in your search area that have the features you are looking for. Make sure you prioritize your desired features. You may not be able to get everything on your wish list, but knowing what your requirements are before you get started will make your search easier.