Now that you have decided to buy a home you can save yourself a great amount of time by doing a few things prior to moving forward.
CREATE A FILE: Gather and create a file either digitaly or physically that should contain all of the necessary financial documents your lender will need to make a "loan". Start by making copies of all your financial statements like: bank accounts, investments, credit cards, auto loans, recent pay stubs and two years tax returns. If you haven't already, start saving a down payment and extra funds for incidental home buying and closing cost (i.e., inspection, appraisals, title insurance, moving expenses).
MAKE CONTACT WITH A LOAN OFFICER: If you don't have a mortgage lender that you work with on a regular basis now is the time to find one. We are happy to reccommend people we work with and know will do a fantastic job. Or, simply ask friends or relatives as they may be able to refer you to someone they've used in the past and liked. The role of this intial contact is to fiqure out what other information they might require of you during the loan process. Here is a list of typical items, however, everyone's situation is unqiue, so it's always a good idea to double check with the lender of your choice so you can keep stuffing that file with what they need.
CHECK YOUR CREDIT RATING: When speaking with the loan officer have them check your credit to find out where you stand. Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. A few months before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you discover.
TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR FINANCES: Do You Have The Money? Homes and financing are closely intertwined unless you have big bucks. In addition to a down payment, purchasers also need cash for closing costs- costs associated with closing the loan and pre-paid expenses- which are anything you pay before closing, such as the cost of inspections, fees paid to lender for credit reports (most don't charge) or cost of appraisal if paid by you and or the 1st year's insurance premium. Several newly emerging loan programs not only allow the purchase of a home with no money down, but also allow for seller's to pay closing cost and pre-paid at a cost not to exceed an negotiated amount.
Don't worry! Please remember when reading all of this information that we are here to help you through the home buying process, it's our job and we are good at it. With over 18 years of award winning service we can lead you from start to finish with the least amont of inconvienence to you.