Jeffrey Harrington's Blog
While buying a home is a huge decision that should entail a lot of planning and preparation, applying for a mortgage can be surprisingly easy. Just like with other lenders and creditors, a mortgage lender will want to know that letting you borrow money will be a safe investment. Applying for a mortgage is all about ensuring just that.
In today’s post, we’re going to breakdown the home loan application process to help you have the best chances at a smooth and successful mortgage approval. We’ll also define some of the common terms used in mortgages that might leave you scratching your head so you have a better idea of what your options are.
Prequalification and Preapproval
Getting prequalified and preapproved for a mortgaged can both be helpful steps toward securing your home loan. The two terms mean two entirely different things, however.
In order to be prequalified for a mortgage, you typically need to only fill out a simple form (sometimes directly through a lender’s website). On this form, you won’t need to provide specifics or official documents.
Why is this process so simple? Well, that’s because getting prequalified for a loan doesn’t ensure that you’ll actually receive one. Rather, it is simply the first step toward finding out what type of mortgage and interest rates you could receive.
The next step after prequalification is preapproval. To get preapproved, you’ll have to fill out an official mortgage application. Your lender of choice will request a few pieces of information from you, including tax returns, proof of employment for the last two years, and a list of your debts. The lender will also perform a credit check to determine your loan eligibility.
At this phase, lenders will also run your credit report. This is a type of “hard credit inquiry” that details your payment history, the number of accounts you have open, and other factors that help make up your credit score.
To secure the lowest interest rate possible, it helps to have a high credit score. So, in the years and months leading up to your mortgage application, focusing on building credit will pay off.
To increase your credit score, you’ll need to focus on paying your bills on time each month. You should also avoid opening new accounts within a few months of applying for a mortgage because this will count as a new credit inquiry. New credit inquiries--including applying for a mortgage--lower your score temporarily, so it’s best to avoid them when possible.
Additional paperwork required for mortgage applications
Not every mortgage application will be the same. Depending on the type of income you receive, you may need to provide different forms of income verification.
Each person will also have to claim different debts and assets. When buying a home with a spouse or partner, it’s important to consider your debts, assets, and credit scores to determine if it’s better to apply jointly or separately.
A home showing enables a property buyer to get an up-close look at a residence. After a showing, a property buyer can determine whether a house matches his or her expectations. And if a property buyer likes a house, he or she may be ready to take the next step in the homebuying journey.
Ultimately, a showing is crucial for a property buyer. And if you fail to plan accordingly for a home showing, you risk missing out on the opportunity to identify your ideal residence. Lucky for you, we're here to help you get ready for a house showing and ensure you can use this opportunity to your advantage.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for a house showing.
1. Create a Checklist
You may have already learned about a home from a listing. However, there is only so much information available in a home listing. But if you craft a checklist prior to a house showing, you'll be better equipped than ever before to get the insights you need to determine if a home is right for you.
Include any questions you have about a home in your house showing checklist. Also, you may want to include areas of a home you want to review during a showing in your checklist.
2. Give Yourself Plenty of Time
There is no reason to rush through a home showing. Because if you fail to allocate the proper amount of time to conduct a showing, you may struggle to obtain the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house.
Clear your schedule for at least an hour before and after a showing – you'll be glad you did. This should give you sufficient time to arrive at a home and take an in-depth look at all areas of the property.
Of course, if you find that one home showing is insufficient, there is no need to stress. You can always schedule a follow-up showing to further review a residence.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about buying a house. Plus, he or she can help you get the most out of any home showing, at any time.
Typically, a real estate agent will attend a house showing with you. He or she can provide home insights as you walk around a residence and respond to your property buying concerns or questions. In addition, a real estate agent is happy to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions. And if you're ready to submit an offer to purchase a home following a showing, a real estate agent can help you do just that.
As you get set to attend a home showing, you should prepare as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can get ready for a home showing and use this opportunity to decide whether a particular residence will be able to serve you well for years to come.
If you've always dreamed of owning a house, there is no need to wait to enter the real estate market. In fact, there are many reasons to kick off a house search today, and these include:
1. You can upgrade from your current residence.
If you live with family members or friends or rent an apartment, buying a home may represent an upgrade. Because when you purchase a residence, you can reap the benefits of having your very own living space.
There is no shortage of high-quality houses available in cities and towns nationwide. Regardless of whether you prefer the comfort of small town living or the hustle and bustle of city life, you can check out a broad range of houses at your convenience. Then, you can discover your dream residence, submit an offer to purchase it and move one step closer to making your homeownership dream come true.
2. Many home financing options are available.
One of the biggest issues that often prevents people from pursuing homes is a lack of financing. Fortunately, banks and credit unions offer a variety of mortgage options designed for individuals of all incomes.
Whether it's a fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage, you're sure to find a mortgage option that complements your finances perfectly. Plus, banks and credit unions are ready to teach you everything you need to know about different types of mortgages. And if you are unsure about how a mortgage works or which mortgage option to choose, friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists are available to assist you.
3. You can receive plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey.
Let's face it – buying a home can be a daunting task, particularly for an individual who is entering the real estate market for the first time. The sheer volume of top-notch houses sometimes makes it tough to differentiate a good home from a great one. Meanwhile, navigating the homebuying process can be stressful, and challenges may arise that make it difficult for a homebuyer to achieve his or her desired results.
If you enter the housing market today, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. This housing market professional will offer expert insights into all aspects of the homebuying journey. In addition, he or she will go the extra mile to ensure that you can quickly and effortlessly acquire your dream home at a price that matches your budget.
Of course, a real estate agent will help you map out a successful homebuying strategy too. He or she will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you plan accordingly. And if you have concerns or questions at any point during the property buying journey, a real estate agent can respond to them.
Launch a home search today – you'll be glad you did. If you pursue your dream home with help from a real estate agent, you can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.
If you're ready to sell your home, you may wonder if the time is right. Timing is truly everything when you’re selling a home. If you have some flexibility, it might be a good idea to wait to sell your home. Even with time constraints, there are a few strategies to employ that can help you find the sweet spot in your time frame.
The Month Matters
It’s widely accepted in the real estate community that the best time to sell a home is in the spring. Since people want to get moved in over the summertime, May could be the best month of the year to put your home on the market.
Springtime offers favorable weather conditions in most places. The good weather means that it’s easy for buyers to get to open houses. Homes will also look more attractive with green grass and flowers blooming. Parents also want to get their kids settled into a new home and new neighborhood over the summer months before they start a new school.
The favorable conditions along with the urgency of springtime buyers translate into more competition which equates to a better price tag for your home because buyers are willing to pay more due to the anxiety of wanting to find a place.
The Day Of The Week Matters
Most buyers start looking for homes when they have free time which is generally on the weekend. That means the end of the week- preferably a Thursday- is a good day to pick to list your home. Homes that were listed earlier in the week will be farther down on the search page. Buyers will be more likely to see your listing first the later in the week that it’s listed.
Consider Your Needs
While timing is a good marketing strategy to sell your home, you need to go by your own timeline. If you need to move due to a job change or other life circumstances, you can’t wait to sell. There are pros to selling during many different times of the year; it just may not be as busy or competitive on the buyer’s side of things. Selling your home fast might not be a sure thing. No matter what time of year you decide to sell your home, just make sure it’s inviting to buyers.