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The Do’s and Don’ts of Home Financing

November 15, 2021
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Financing a home can seem a bit overwhelming when you’re buying your first home or you're new to the process. Your real estate agent and your mortgage broker can help guide you through the mortgage application process.

There are some key do’s and don’ts in the mortgage process you can take to help pave the way to home loan approval.

Good Things to Know Before You Shop or Buy a Home

Before you shop for a house or apply for a mortgage, it’s good to know these key do’s and don’ts to better your chances of getting a home mortgage.

Do Get Pre-Approved

Before you start shopping for a home, decide which mortgage lender you want to use and have them help you try to get pre-approved for a home loan. A pre-approval demonstrates to real estate agents and home sellers that you’re a serious buyer. It also determines the price range of homes you should look at, which are the ones you can reasonably afford.

Don’t Assume You Can Afford the Mortgage You’re Approved For

Being pre-approved for a loan of up to a specific amount, doesn’t always mean you’d be wise to buy to that limit. You may want to consider other expenses and future plans for other purchases you have too.

You can start by using the guideline of only taking out a mortgage that is less than two- to two-and-a-half times their gross annual income, according to Investopedia.com. Keep in mind that’s just a guideline.

Don’t Overlook the Real Costs of Home Ownership

It’s easy to buy a house that turns out to be more work, and thus, more expensive than you’d anticipated. Ask specific questions during your home inspection, especially if you plan to do any renovations. If the inspection reveals potential issues, like a roof that needs work, you’d be wise to first get an accurate quote from a roofer.

Buying or building a new home can help you avoid unexpected, costly repairs that can add up quickly in older homes that have underlying issues.

Be sure to weigh other expenses that a home can have. Look into the property tax rate of the town and the homeowner’s insurance that you’ll need to obtain. Properties located in floodplains often require additional flood insurance that increases your cost.

Create a Budget

It’s important for you to create your own budget and determine how much you can realistically afford to pay toward your mortgage each month.

When creating your budget, you’ll want to carefully weigh how those changes could affect your finances and what you can pay toward a mortgage. Take into account:

  • Your current monthly bills
  • Which bills could increase while you own the home, like utilities
  • How much you need to contribute to your savings each month
  • Any upcoming changes, like the addition of a child or going back to school

Do Think About Resale Value

Even though you might plan to live in your new home for years or decades, chances are that you’ll want to sell it at some point. Most people do eventually sell. Consider the resale value that your home could have in the future.

Buying an affordably priced older home that you can gradually renovate and improve means you could profit off of it when it’s time to sell. However, buying a home that’s at the top of your budget that needs work could limit the renovations you’ll be able to afford. This could leave you with less or even no profit. Consider other factors that could make the house an appealing sale years from now, like if it’s in an up-and-coming neighborhood.

Do’s and Don’ts During the Mortgage Application Process

When you’re ready to apply for a mortgage, these do’s and don’ts can help guide you through the mortgage process steps.

Do Ask Plenty of Questions

When you apply for a mortgage, ask any questions that you have about the process. Before signing anything, be sure to have your loan officer clarify any items you don’t understand.

Your mortgage broker is there to help you. The more questions you ask now, the better prepared you’ll be for your closing.

Do Get Organized

When you apply for a mortgage, you’ll typically need to supply a lot of documents, including your:

  • Tax returns
  • Employment pay stubs or proof of other income
  • Proof of ongoing employment
  • Bank statements
  • Photo ID

Start gathering these documents ahead of time when you receive a mortgage application checklist for these items. You won’t have to hunt them down after your broker requests them.

Your broker will likely reach out to you later in the process with additional documentation requests. The better organized all of your paperwork is, the quicker the process will be.

Don’t Make Big Career Changes

Your job history and consistency are taken into account in getting mortgage approval. Avoid leaving your job, switching from full-time to part-time employment, or making other big career changes during or right before the mortgage application process. 

Do Consult Your Broker About Big Career Changes

Positive career changes, such as becoming a salaried employee or increasing your employment from part-time to full-time, shouldn’t negatively impact your mortgage application. If you expect positive changes like these to occur, mention them to your broker.

Don’t Make Big Financial Changes

Your credit score can play a major role in your mortgage application approval. Don’t make any changes that could affect your credit score while your loan approval is pending.

These changes can include:

  • Financing a major purchase, such as a new vehicle
  • Missing or making late bill payments
  • Opening a new line of credit, like a credit card
  • Making large deposits or withdrawals to your bank accounts

Find Your Dream Home

We’d love the opportunity to help you find your new home. Contact Brookfield Residential today and learn about all the options that are available for you and your lifestyle.

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