This series grew from a post on our blog titled "First Time Home Buyer Guide: Steps to Buying a House."
Staying Approved (Advice from the Pros:)
Now that you are pre-approved, here are some proactive tips to help make the rest of your home loan process go as smoothly as possible.
Watch the Rates
Although rates are still much lower than they were 15 years ago, there has been an increase lately. It is worth watching rates and trends to give you a sense of how much you can afford and what is happening in the marketplace. A great resource is the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. On their website at www.ahfc.us you can see the past 30 days’ rates.
Play it Safe
In the time leading up to what is one of the biggest purchases you are likely to make in your lifetime, make sure you’re not running your credit up, making other large purchases, or changing jobs. For one, you can damage your credit which would raise red flags for the underwriters. Also, you want to make sure you’re keeping aside money for new costs like furniture for that new, big space; deposits on utilities; your inspection, pet door installation, and moving costs.
Watch where your money goes“Down payment can come from the buyer or can be gifted by a family member. Moving money around between accounts or making large deposits during the few months prior to getting approved for a mortgage will require a buyer to source those funds.”
Budget for closing costs“You can either close at the end of the month and have a payment in 30 days, or you can close at the beginning of the month and have a payment in 59 days. You either have less cash up front with a payment sooner or you have a payment further out but you bring more cash to close. It really is a wash but depends sometimes on how much money a home buyer would have at closing and if those funds are tight.”
Your next step will be the closing process where you get to sign papers and get keys. Read on for more info on what that will look like!