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Getting Started

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Getting Started

Mortgage rates are at 50-year lows, making buying a home more affordable than ever for families with a stable income and good credit.

Many eligible borrowers are not taking advantage of the opportunities because of misinformation about getting a mortgage today. It's important that you get the facts about buying a home in today’s market.

What You Will Need

In order to qualify in today’s market you will need:

  • A stable income
  • A good credit history
  • A downpayment – Generally, between 5-20 percent of the purchase price for a conventional, conforming mortgage.
  • Documentation – Responsible lenders today will want documentation verifying your income (W-2 forms, tax returns, employment), credit history and assets (such as bank statements to verify your savings).
  • An impartial third-party appraisal – Your lender needs this to verify the value of the house you want to purchase.

You will interact with various professionals during the homebuying process, all of whom are valuable resources and perform necessary roles.. 

First Steps to Take

Before you start shopping for your new home, you will want to:

  • Find out your current credit history and score. You don’t want to start out with any surprises.
  • Start gathering all of your documentation as outlined above.
  • Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor or other professional to help you develop a spending plan and determine how much you can afford.
  • Consult with your lender to review your income, expenses and financial goals to determine the type and amount of mortgage you qualify for.
  • Talk to your lender about applying for a mortgage and getting a pre-approval letter. This letter provides an estimate of what you might be able to borrow – provided your financial status doesn’t change – and demonstrates to home sellers that you are a serious buyer.

There may be a few new rules in today’s market, but all the old ones still apply too. Do your research, reach out to the professionals, stick to your budget and be sure you are ready to take on the financial responsibilities of being a homeowner.


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