One of the very first steps for first-time home buyers and anyone that needs to obtain a home loan is to find out how much home you can afford. I don’t recommend home buyers looking at just any old home or browsing the Internet for properties until they know how much they can afford. You might find a great property that you love, apply for a home loan and then find out your budget can’t afford the monthly mortgage payment. You can save yourself a lot of hassle, time and frustration by getting pre-approved for a home loan first or at the very least, understand how much you can afford in a monthly mortgage payment. You want to discuss interest rates, down payments, and the terms of the loan.
A 30 year loan will obviously get you a lower monthly mortgage payment but if you’re a little older than a millennial, you might want to consider a lower term. Lower terms are also great if you can afford it and you’d like to pay off your home quicker. Mortgage professionals offer 20 year, 15 year and even 10 year loans. You might consider going with a lower-priced home in order to get a better term and have the mortgage paid off faster. Even if you’re planning on selling the home after just five or six years, getting a lower term means that you’ll build up more equity faster, increasing the chances of a better profit when you do so.
There are a variety of different loans available including conventional, FHA and VA. You might even qualify for a zero down home loan in which you would actually be applying for two separate loans including your primary and a secondary mortgage, which covers the remainder of the first loan.
A qualified mortgage professional will analyze your credit score, report, income, debts and liabilities to determine how much home you can afford comfortably with a monthly mortgage payment. If you don’t have the down payment there are other ways of going about applying for a home loan including an FHA loan which only requires 3.5% down.
Once you’ve applied for a loan your lender will offer you a letter of pre-approval. This letter is free and does not come with any obligation but is a great marketing tool to present to sellers when you submitted offer. It shows sellers you are serious about buying the home and of already done the financial homework necessary in order to qualify. Fill out the form on this page to be contacted by a mortgage professional and learn more about a first-time home buyer program and other loan programs you might qualify for.