March 28th, 2018 6:11 AM by Jackie A. Graves
you’ve had it with rentals and roommates and think it’s time to take advantage
of low mortgage rates and become a
first-time homebuyer, follow this simple step-by-step plan.
a multiple listing service, or MLS, for homes in your area at a number of
websites, including the National Association of Realtors.
Use Bankrate’s mortgage calculator to get
an idea of what your monthly mortgage payments would be if you bought today.
taxes and home insurance in your cost. In some areas, those two costs can almost
double your mortgage payment.
get an idea of what insurance will cost, pick a property in the area where you
want to live and make a call to an insurance agent for an estimate. You won’t
be obligated to buy the policy, but you’ll have a good idea of what you would
pay. To estimate your taxes, check your property appraiser’s website.
a house is a great way to build wealth, but maintaining your investment can be
labor-intensive and expensive.
When unexpected costs for new appliances, roof repairs and plumbing problems
crop up, there’s no landlord to turn to, and these expenses can drain your bank
the numbers make sense for you, making these next steps at the very beginning
of the purchase process can save you time, money and aggravation.
Blemished credit or
the inability to make a substantial down payment can quash your homeownership
plans. That’s why it pays to look at your creditworthiness before you start the
your free annual credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting
bureaus and examine them for errors and unresolved issues. If you find
mistakes, contact the credit-reporting bureau to make sure they are corrected.
also a good idea to get your credit score. Get your credit report and score today for
free at myBankrate.
pay stubs, bank account statements, W-2s, tax returns for the past two years,
statements from current loans and credit lines, and names and addresses of your
landlords for the past two years.
all of that paperwork ready for the lender saves time.
preapproved for a mortgage helps you bargain from a position of
strength when you are house hunting. The institution where you bank and a local
credit union are good places to start your search.
with multiple lenders in the same month increases your chances of getting a
loan approved at the best rate
possible without dinging your credit score too much.
you can’t find a bank willing to lend to you, consider getting an FHA loan.
The Federal Housing Administration has a program that insures the mortgages of
many first-time homebuyers. As a result of this guarantee, lenders who might
otherwise feel uneasy about your qualifications will be more inclined to lend
to you. As a bonus, the FHA requires a down payment of only 3.5 percent from
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