Before You Buy
Things to Consider
Planning to move out of the area in a couple of years? If so you
may be better off not buying a home now. The cost of selling a house
generally falls in a range of 7% - 8% of the sale price which may
be more than the appreciation of the house.
about changing jobs? It might be best to wait until after your purchase.
Look at your work history. Is it sporadic or did you just start
a new job? Lenders like to see someone with a steady work history
and with job changes in the same line of work. Lenders will require
your work history along with past tax returns.
Look at your credit report before you go to a lender.
It is not uncommon to find problems with reports, especially if
you have a common last name. If you find a problem, start with the
reporting agency to clear it up. It is common to have a late payment
at some time or another. These problems can usually be taken care
of with a letter of explanation from you to the lender.
FICO Scores: What They are and Why They are
To get copies of your credit report, start at:
Banks/Savings and Loans vs. Loan Brokers
Loan officers at a bank work for the bank.
Loan brokers work for you and have a fiduciary relationship.
Most banks cooperate with loan brokers.
You can go to a broker and obtain a loan through a bank.
Most banks will offer you a menu of programs while a loan broker
will offer a
menu of lenders. Banks and loan brokers are under different government
A complaint regarding a bank would go to the State Department of
A complaint regarding a loan broker would go to the State Department
of Real Estate.
Contact someone from each source to see what special programs they
have to offer.
Before shopping for a home, get pre-approved for a loan first.
- Getting pre-approved for a loan is a necessary step when buying
- If you are pre-approved first you will save considerable time
looking for a property.
- You will know how much a lender will commit so you won't waste
time looking at property you can't qualify for.
- You will have a better chance of having an offer accepted if it
is accompanied with a pre-approval letter.
- The best agents won't work with buyers until they are pre-approved.
A lender will let you know your maximum loan amount
after providing them:
- Income from all sources.
- Funds available for a down payment and closing costs.
- Your monthly obligations (auto loans, credit card payments, alimony,
- Price range of homes where you want to locate.
Selecting a Lender
You should pick a lender based on experience, customer service and
recommendations. Work with a lender who is experienced in the business,
knows the availability of the different type loans and how to handle
the demands of processing. Don't make the decision based solely
on which lender is offering the lowest rates. If a company is offering
a mortgage package that is well below market rates, you should beware.
All mortgage companies generally choose from the same pool of investors.
A company offering abnormally low rates might make up the difference
by increasing closing costs or tacking on additional settlement
Determine how long you expect to live in the new home.
This decision will not only affect the houses you look at, but also
will determine the type and term of loan you choose. Get everything
in writing and a copy of everything you sign.
Ask your lender at application what fees typically are included
in the finance charge computation, and what fees may be charged
separately at closing.
How Much Can I Qualify For?
Most lenders require your housing payments not to exceed 25-33%
(depending on your down payment) of your gross monthly income called
"housing expense ratio". Your total debt payments should
not exceed 33-38%, figured on a monthly basis. This figure is called
your "total debt ratio". Use the mortgage calculators
to find out how much you can afford.
How Much Do I Need?
Besides setting aside money for a down payment, you will need money
for closing costs. Those costs can range from $3,000 to $10,000,
depending on the type of loan, the loan fees and the community the
property is located in. The smartest and most time effecient thing
to do is get pre-approved up front, before you start looking for
a home. Next, find
an agent familar with the area you want to live and you are
comfortable with. Educate your self about local property values
and the current martket trend.
here to find homes for sale via a real estate professional in the Sarasota
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