Find an experienced home mortgage professional.
The right home mortgage professional will do much more than take your loan application. Look for someone who will help you understand mortgages, the loan process, and how to make it all work for you. Ask friends and family for referrals and select a professional who will guide you, instruct you, and keep you updated from your first meeting through handing you your keys.
Make sure you have enough money available for a down payment and closing costs.
Your home mortgage professional can give you an estimate of the loan amount you’ll qualify for as well as the amount you would have to pay at closing. Closing costs vary based on a number of factors, but your mortgage professional can give you an idea of how much you should set aside to be safe. Be sure the funds you set aside for your down payment and closing costs are readily available, though off limits for spending. If you’re keeping the funds in an account, be sure to have them in that account a few months before you apply for your loan.
Gather the documents you’ll need.
Ask your home mortgage professional for a list of required documents. You can count on needing bank account statements, pay stubs, tax returns, and alimony and child support payment information, if applicable. For your convenience, some home mortgage professionals may, with your consent, be able to request account statements directly from your financial institutions.
Plan to take the day off for the inspection and the closing.
Your new home’s inspection will be scheduled to take only an hour or two, and your closing, even less. However, unexpected problems can arise on these days, and you’ll want to be able to address the issues promptly, without worrying about your other responsibilities, Also, the inspection and the closing involve other important tasks you’ll want to leave time for.
Attending the inspection of your new home is optional. However, it’s an opportunity to see the house with an expert who will show you everything that could potentially cause you problems. Afterward, you will want to act quickly to negotiate with the seller about any repairs that are needed. The sooner you can agree with the seller to either fix the problems or reduce the purchase price, the better your chance of keeping the closing on track.On closing day, it’s smart to walk through the new house before the closing. This allows you to make sure the seller has left the house in good condition, and with all the inclusions you expected.
Prepare for everything you’ll need to take to the closing.
When you finally make it to the day of your closing, you’ll want to be sure you have everything you need. Ask your home mortgage professional for a list of requirements even before you apply for your loan. Count on needing a photo ID, a cashier’s or certified check for your down payment and closing costs (neither personal checks nor cash are accepted), and proof of homeowners insurance. The closing agent will need to verify that the homeowners insurance policy is already paid for and in effect, so you’ll need to secure the policy several days before closing day.
With the help of your home mortgage professional, and some advance preparation, you can smooth the path to the home of your dreams.