Top 10 tips for financing a home

January 19, 2011 – It may feel like winter lasts an eternity, but the spring home buying season is right around the corner.

The buying and selling season is actually longer than the spring season – beginning in early February and lasting through July.

If you’re a first time buyer considering jumping into the real estate market, here are a some tips to consider before you begin your search:

10. When shopping for a lender, compare not only interest rates, but other related fees and charges, as well. Lenders should provide this information so you can make comparisons.

9. Consider requesting a credit pre-approval decision from your lender. It will determine how much you may be able afford, and can speed up the mortgage process once you find a home.

8. Understand your credit. Be aware that your credit history may impact the interest rate charged, and the type of loan program for which you may qualify.

7. Ask your loan officer if you may benefit from credit counseling services. They will be able to guide you in the right direction or help you find a program that will work for you.

6. The biggest challenge for most people may be saving money for down payment and closing costs. If this is true for you, ask your lender about programs that may help.

5. Review all types of mortgage products offered by your lender. Discuss these options with your loan officer to determine what may work best for you.

4. Become familiar with all mortgage-related terms such as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Your loan officer should be able to explain these terms to you.

3. Attend a home-financing workshop or seminar to gain a clear understanding of the process. Your loan officer may be able to direct you to one in your area.

2. Ask your loan officer for a list of what to bring to application. Having the correct documents ready may help the lender provide a faster loan decision.

1. Remember, choosing a lender is your decision. Don’t be swayed by your real estate professional’s opinion if you don’t feel comfortable with their selection.

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