8 Tips for First-time Home Buyers

first-time-home-buyers1.  Get pre-approved: Before you jump on the web or jump in your car to look at houses, have a talk with a lender or 2, remember, you are “shopping” for the best home loan you can get!  Find out how much house you can afford and what your interest rate will be.  Check out what your monthly payment will be at different interest rates and different down payments.  You want to be pre-approved and ready to buy the home of your dreams when you see it!

2.  Now that you know what you can afford, know what you want.  The home buying process can be stressful.  If you know what you want in a house and what you are willing to compromise on, the home buying experience will be far easier.

3.  Start researching:  Drive around, hit some Open Houses, go online, check out crime, walk scores and schools and narrow your search to 3 or 4 neighborhoods that you want to live in.

4.  Have a timeline: If you need to clean up your credit first, factor that in.  Plan to buy a house in 3 months or 6 months or whenever it is best based on your situation, and then set and stick to your timeline. Continue reading

5 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score


Credit Scores range from 300 to 850.  A credit score of 760 or more is considered an excellent credit score.

Although you may be able to get a home loan with a credit score of less that 760, to get the best interest rate on your loan, you will need a credit score of 760 or more.

Here are 5 Quick Ways to Boost Your Credit Score

1.  Get a copy of your credit report and dispute any errors you find.

2.  Negotiate with a creditor that is reporting negative information about you.  Write a letter and find out what you can do to erase that negative information.

3.  Don’t  max out your credit cards.  If you have, start paying those balances down.  You should not have used more than 30% of your available credit at anytime and using only 10% is best.  This applies even if you are paying the balance of monthly.  30% of your credit score rating is based on debt owed.   Continue reading

Your Home Loan Application

Approved-Loan-ApplicationThere are numerous home loans available today, including FHA, VA and Conventional.  All of these loans will require you to fill out a loan application.   This process is much easier if you are prepared.  Here is a list of required items you are going to need:

1.  Latest 2 paycheck stubs

2.  Last 2 years W-2’s or 1099’s

3.  If self-employed; last 2 years tax returns

4. Most recent bank statements  (all your accounts for 2 months)

5.  Loan and lease information on other real estate owned

6.  Drivers license or other form of ID

Your lender may want more information and if they do, they will ask for it.  Like the Boy Scouts, “Be prepared”, and you will have completed your loan application in no time.

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