How do you prepare for a mortgage? Whether you’re buying your first house or not, sometimes preparing can be a challenge. Here’s a quick guide to help you prepare for a mortgage in good time!
There are some great things you can do to prepare for a mortgage even if you’re not sure when you’re moving. These are the kind of things lenders look for and what will help you determine how much house you can afford!
- First, clean up your credit. Credit is one of the main things that plays into what kind of a mortgage you qualify for – it doesn’t fluctuate as much in the market as it does based on your actual financial position. Lenders generally look for you to be using less than 30% of your available credit. See some tips to improve your credit here!
- Save for a down payment. You can always start setting money aside to put towards your down payment, and we consider this one of the best things you can do to prepare for a mortgage. Why? Because once you pay 20% of your home’s value, you no longer have to pay for PMI, which stands for private mortgage insurance and protects the lender should you not be able to make payments. If you can put 20% down on your home, you never even have to get PMI, but the closer you are, the less you’ll pay in the long run.
Maybe you’ve been saving a couple years and it feels about time. Now that you’re ready to start looking for a house, what’s the next step?
- Understand your budget. Look at your home and expenditure. Lenders look at your Debt-to-Income ratio, or DTI, when considering your application. In simple terms, it’s basically stacking your monthly income against your monthly expenditure to see what kind of a mortgage payment you can afford. If you’re married, talk with your partner. Figure out what kind of lifestyle you want to live and where the mortgage payment fits into that, and decide how much you’re willing to take a loan for.
- Make a list of must-haves. In the same vein, jot down your expectations in a new home. What is a must, and what is just a desire? Check out homes that have what you’re looking for – a safe neighborhood and big kitchen? Looking at a couple can help you get a feel for what your ideal home might be valued at.
- Get a pre-approval. When you prepare for a mortgage, we always recommend you get a pre-approval. When you’re preapproved, you already know how much you’ll be approved for – which helps you know what homes are actually within your budget. And to a seller, a buyer with a preapproval letter is a serious buyer, and will often be selected over other offers because of that. It’s pretty quick and easy – we’d love to help if you want to give us a call!
We hope this helps you prepare for the perfect mortgage and the perfect home for you and your family! It always seems like a lot up front, but we know you’ll get through this list in no time. We’re a Christian Lender and we value the same things as you — faith and family. We’re here when you need us.
The Christian Mortgage Mom