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If you’re like most Americans who want to buy a home, you’re going to need a mortgage. In fact, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data company, homebuyers making cash purchases accounted for a mere
34 percent of total transactions in 2015—the lowest percentage since 2008. It’s easy to see why: the median existing-home price for all housing types nationwide is currently $210,800. And 62 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.

Of course, whether to obtain a loan or empty your savings account isn’t the only decision you’ll need to make when purchasing real estate. Should you go the mortgage route, you’ll need to calculate costs carefully in order to determine how much property you can afford and how high a mortgage payment you can comfortably take on. For the most accurate calculation, avoid making these mistakes.

  1. Ignoring your credit score

Before you start plugging today’s low interest rates into a mortgage calculator to estimate your potential monthly payment, take time to check your credit score. It plays an enormous home financing role. Lenders will factor it into their calculations before extending any loan offer to you. The lower your score, the higher the interest rate you’ll have to pay on the loan. The higher—or better—your score, the lower the interest rate they offer you will be. The difference in money spent or saved or the life of your mortgage can be significant.

Federal law allows you to request a free credit report from all three credit-reporting agencies every 12 months. You can also purchase your credit report—complete with credit score—directly from Equifax,Experian or TransUnion.  If you find any mistakes (i.e. debts that don’t belong to you, misreported late payments or judgements, etc.) correct them before you apply for a mortgage.

  1. Ignoring other homeownership costs

Mortgage calculators, while useful, only help you estimate your monthly mortgage payment. But as any homeowner can tell you, buying—and owning—a home comes with additional expenses. From homeowner’s insurance (which your mortgage lender will require) and property taxes (which you much pay by law) to routine maintenance, these costs quickly add up. And don’t forget the closing costs and fees required just to process and close your loan.

  1. Not understanding the homebuying process

If you want to be a savvy homebuyer, take some time to learn about the process before you start searching for properties.  Doing so will help you avoid time-consuming and costly surprises down the road. If you’re not much for research, your mortgage professional can help. Gather your financials and request a mortgage pre-qualification to help you determine how much you’re likely to be able to borrow and the types of loan products for which you qualify. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and request further clarification.

Are you ready to get started? We’re here to help. Give us a call to schedule your free mortgage pre-qualification today.


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