Navigating the ins and outs of the borrowing world can be seriously overwhelming for buyers–particularly if it’s your first time.  My broker wrote up this amazingly helpful post for first-time home buyers, so I thought I would share it….  The only advice I would add to it would be to get pre-approved early and often (as in, don’t let months go by without checking to make sure that–once you get one–your pre-approval letter is still good/current).  KP

Take it away, Eileen!

Lots of people come to a real estate professional before they have qualified for a mortgage.   A good agent will send you back to square one.   In this market, it’s imperative to know not only how much house you can afford, but IF you qualify!   We are great at working with first time homebuyers and we have great lending resources so if you hit a roadblock, there’s a professional that can help you get past it.  The time to work on your credit is NOW!   How to do that?

  • Put off buying any big ticket items that are not total necessities.   (we call this the Toothpaste and Toilet Paper rule!  Stay out of the mall!)
  • Pay down any credit card debt.  It affects your debt to income ratio.  And your credit score.   Just a few points can make a difference!
  • Put off buying a new car on credit ’til AFTER you purchase a home.
  • If you are self employed, file your taxes in a timely manner.  And remember when taking deductions, that you will need your return to show some substantial income.  You will need 2 years of consistent income!
  • If there are dings on your credit, find a professional to help you get them straightened out.
  • Just remember, there’s always help.  It might seem scary, but nothing beats home ownership!

Find out if you qualify for a mortgage loan by using this flowchart