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Buying a house is one of the most significant financial investments most people make. Getting a mortgage loan is often an excellent option, especially when you can’t afford to purchase a house outright.
However, to get the most out of your first mortgage, you must put in plenty of planning and research. But worry not, as this article offers tips to guide you through your first home-buying experience.
5 Tips for Getting Your First Mortgage
Check your Credit Score and History
Most mortgage lenders will likely look at your credit score when considering your application. A good credit score will help you get fast mortgage approval and secure lower interest rates, while a low score can make things hard for you.
Therefore, if you are unsure of your credit report, credit bureaus such as Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax can help you check your credit score and history for free. However, before your mortgage loan application, you will want to take the right steps to improve your score, especially if you have a low score.
Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage
As soon as you decide you can’t pay for your house in full with one payment, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a good idea, even before you start your home search. Pre-approval helps you narrow down your search by giving you an idea of how much you can afford to spend.
Additionally, getting pre-approved shows sellers that you are serious, giving you an edge in a competitive market.
Start Saving as Soon as You Can
In most instances, 5% of the home’s purchase price will be a sufficient down payment when getting your mortgage loan. However, you can secure lower monthly payments and interest if you put down a larger down payment. Therefore, start saving toward your down payment the earliest you can.
Approaching the home-buying process with decent savings will give you enough financial room to handle add-on costs. These costs can include appraisal fees, attorney fees, title insurance, home inspection, moving expenses, minor repairs, furnishings, and upgrades, which can add up to several thousand dollars.
Figure Out the Type of Home You Want
Once you understand your buying power, you can start reviewing the options available in your location if you know the type of home you want.
Various types of homes can include townhomes, condominiums, duplexes, and single-family homes. Your choice is often determined by the space you need, home cost, and the HOA fees.
For instance, a single-family home may be an excellent choice if you are looking for more space, more privacy, fewer neighbor nuisances, and fewer rules. However, such homes often come at a much higher cost.
So, you may have to drop a single-family home and pick other cheaper options, such as a condo or townhome with similar square footage, especially if the HOA fees still make the house worth it.
Choose a Mortgage Provider That Offers Plenty of Help and Support
Being your first time getting a mortgage, you will want to apply for a home mortgage from a provider with various loan products, competitive fees, offers, and less strict down payment and payment requirements. More importantly, choose a mortgage provider that offers lots of help and support.
The best thing about choosing the right provider is that you get personalized service and enjoy flexibility and expertise to meet your unique needs. A good mortgage provider also saves you a significant amount of time and money with no hidden costs.
While getting your first mortgage can be an overwhelming experience, sufficient planning and preparation will help you have a much smoother process. So, besides following the tips highlighted in this article, try seeking guidance and support from a real estate agent you can trust.