How The Home Loan Process Works
Your loan officer is here every step of the way!
When you make the decision to purchase a home, it’s the first in a long line of other decisions to be made throughout the process. At the beginning, it helps to clearly define what is best for your unique situation. Highlighting what may be a deal breaker from the beginning can help save you time and even money in the long run. Typically the old saying “location, location, location” reigns supreme, but here are some other things to consider:
- How big is your family? Will you have any other family or extended family members living with you?
- Which neighborhoods are you willing to consider? Do you need to be close to work, family, amenities, etc?
- Are schools a factor?
- Do you prefer a single-family home, a multi-family home, a home with an in-law apartment, or a condo?
- Are you willing to be a landlord and have tenants that can help pay the mortgage?
- Based on your current income and assets, what kind of home can you afford?
- What is your current credit score?
In a perfect world, you’d find your dream home, in your neighborhood of choice, at a price you can afford, however, realistically most people will have to make some compromises. It may help to make a list of all the features you want from your home and then assign them a priority. Do you need 3 bedrooms? More than 1 bath? A garage? Outdoor space? Write down everything you want and then decide what is a deal breaker and what you are willing to compromise on. For instance, determine whether the house or the neighborhood matters more to you, or whether you’re willing to make a longer commute in order to own a home with more land. Use this as a guide when you start to look at houses.
It’s important to know what your current credit score is and what is reporting to your credit report. By law, you can get a free credit report from Annualcreditreport.com once per year. You can also contact the three national credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – and request a copy from each. The three agencies are independent of each other and the information may differ on all three reports. In addition, you may not know which agency your lender will use to check your credit, so it’s best to verify that all three have correct information about your credit history. If there are any red flags, or incorrect, inconsistent or derogatory information, it’s best to know ahead of time and correct it before going into the mortgage process.