Buying your own home for the first time can be an overwhelming experience—and the amount of paperwork and fine print that you need to read and understand will be no joke. Most lending agencies can be extra meticulous when it comes to new buyers because one, you do not have a financial history, and two, your paying capacity is not really guaranteed. In the United States, there are plenty of loan providers that would be willing to take a chance on a new would-be homeowner, so the smart move would be to look around first. Whether you’re looking for mortgage lenders in your hometown in Utah or providers from other locations, here are five tips you should keep in mind before starting your search.
Understand Your Credit History and Score
Lenders use both your credit score and financial history to determine whether or not you are ready to take on a loan on your first home. Simply put, a credit score is a number that represents a person’s creditworthiness and is analyzed based on credit reports typically obtained from credit bureaus. People with minimal to zero financial histories are expected to have a low credit score, but this can be easily raised by ensuring that you pay your bills early or on time and that you meet your financial promises.
Try Government-Backed Loan Programs
Usually, first time home buyers have limited funding at the start so they look for houses that are just within their budget. There are state housing finance providers and even local lending agencies that really cater to lower-income or lower-score clients. Under such special schemes, they offer lower downpayments and interest rate percentages than the prevailing rate. You can start by checking out the listings at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Agriculture and Federal Housing Administration. Such agencies usually have more relaxed credit downpayments and income requirements to make it easy for new buyers to get approved.
Ask for Quotes from Several Lending Agencies
Searching for mortgage lenders will be easy because there are plenty of companies that offer attractive plans. To ensure that you are getting the best deal possible, you should first inquire with at least five mortgage companies and then compare their rates and policies before making a final decision. Don’t just jump up and sign at the first approval you get. Read the terms and conditions carefully to understand what the loan is all about and what could happen if you fail to meet payments in the future. Better yet, have a lawyer read through their terms so you can get sound professional advice.
Obtain an Approval First Before Shopping for a Home
When going home shopping, it’s very easy to fall prey to the lure of a beautiful place that’s near your workplace or kids’ school. But don’t get your hopes up just yet. You might think that you can pay for it in the future, but if your mortgage provider does not agree and approves an amount that’s lower than the house’s price (or rejects your application entirely), then you’re in for heartbreak. To save time and effort, get a loan approval first and find out what your loanable amount ceiling is so that you can filter your house-hunting activities based on this budget.
Before You Buy a Home, Be Sure You Are Ready
Regardless of your location, whether you’re looking for California, New York, or Utah mortgage lenders, the basic guidelines to follow for first-time homeowners are the same. In addition to self-assessing your readiness to buy and be independent, you also need to understand that paying for a house through a mortgage is a long-term responsibility. If you’re not confident about your finances but still would like to purchase a home, it’s best to consult with a financial advisor before plunging head-on.