Buying a home for the first time is a thrilling experience, with a lot of hurry-up-and-wait scenarios. To ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible — and to avoid losing out on the home of your dreams because you missed a best practice early on — it’s a good idea to get your ducks in a row as early as possible. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, make sure you zero in on a good lender. The Cushing Team at Guild Mortgage here in Reno has four tips to steer you in the right direction.
Be Very Familiar with Your Credit Score and Credit History
There’s a process to securing a mortgage, and it begins with a dive into your own credit. If you aren’t already monitoring your credit score regularly, it’s time to begin. Review your score and your credit history to ensure everything is accurate and to avoid any unpleasant surprises when a lender takes a look. It’ll also give you an idea of your debt-to-income ratio, which will help determine what you can comfortably borrow (which isn’t necessarily the same as what you can afford). An experienced lender can advise you further on this point, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Learn More about Government Loans
The world of mortgage lending has home loans in every shape and size, and it’s worth your time to learn about the options that may apply to you. Government-backed loans, including FHA, VA and USDA loans all offer less stringent requirements relating to income, down payment, and credit scores which can make it much easier to qualify. Not every lender offers these kinds of loans, so it’s worth inquiring upfront.
Ask about First-Time Buyer Programs
While you’re quizzing potential lenders, make sure to ask about any first-time home buyer programs. Between rate discounts, down payment assistance, and educational resources, there are lots of programs designed with the first-time homebuyer in mind, particularly if you qualify as a public servant, veteran, or if you have student loans. You won’t know unless you ask, so see what a lender may be able to do for you.
Get Pre-Approved Before Starting the House Hunt
The pre-approval letter is a clear signal to real estate agents and sellers that your offer is good. And, not only does it give you a defined price range so you know where to begin shopping, it puts you in an improved position for negotiations. It’s also useful for clarifying specifics about your mortgage as you begin the loan process itself.
It’s normal to want to dive straight into property tours when you’re ready to buy. But finding a good lender and getting your pre-approval upfront will save you time and potential heartache down the road. In Reno, the Cushing Team of Guild Mortgage is ready and waiting to answer all of your questions — contact us today.