Your First Time Through the Mortgage Process?
Theresa will help you navigate your way to the best mortgage solution
Purchasing a home is more than just a smart financial investment – it’s an investment in yourself and your family.
Buying your first home is a big deal! It’s exciting but can sometimes feel overwhelming. Theresa and her team want you to enter the home market with confidence – no questions unanswered, no concerns unaddressed. When comparing renting to owning a home, renting can often seem like the less expensive option – especially when those first few years of homeownership can come with a lot of one-time, up-front expenses. However, the path toward financial stability is a marathon, not a race. Sometimes the more you put into something, the more you get out of it.
As your years of homeownership fly by, you will begin to build equity and increase your net worth with each payment you make toward your mortgage. Purchasing a home may cost more upfront, but the long-term return on investment may be worth it.
Your down payment is your contribution or a contribution on your behalf to the loan. There are down payment assistance programs to help you buy a home even if you have little or no money saved for a down payment. These programs are usually government sponsored (state, local or federal) or from non-profit sources. Most of these programs have income or geographic limitations and you may not qualify due to the maximum income limits. Theresa can guide you through this maze of programs and help you decide which best fits your needs and financial purposes.
Get Pre-qualified / Pre-approved
What does Theresa Springer do instead?
In today’s market it is essential to sit down with a reputable Senior Loan Officer, and go through a full credit review. This ensures that you do qualify without question for the home price you are pursuing. This process is not instantaneous but gives you definite peace of mind knowing that you’re shopping within your means. Your Realtor will be pleased and also will have much more negotiating power since you have a bank pre-qualification not just a mortgage originators best guess.
Once pre-qualifying for a mortgage is in place a letter is prepared that you and your Realtor can use to submit with your purchase agreement to the seller. This will document to the seller your seriousness about purchasing and give them the confidence in your ability to buy their home. Many Realtors will not even show homes unless you have been through the process to make sure you are a viable purchase candidate. Sellers may not accept your offer without the letter as well.
Another benefit is that you will have a better understanding of the amount of cash you may need to bring to closing.
Getting pre-qualified or pre-approved is the most important step in the entire process. When you sit down with Theresa, she will go over your financial picture and help you decide what loan or course of action is best for you in your situation. You may have heard there are differences between getting pre-approved and pre-qualified. There really is none. The CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) has this to say:
Prequalification and preapproval both refer to a letter from a lender that specifies how much the lender is willing to lend to you, up to a certain amount and based on certain assumptions. These letters provide useful information, but are not guaranteed loan offers.
There’s not a lot of difference between a pre-qualification letter and a pre-approval letter. While there are some legal distinctions, in practice both terms refer to a letter from a lender that says the lender is generally willing to lend to you, up to a certain amount and based on certain assumptions. This letter helps you to make an offer on a home, because it gives the seller confidence that you will be able to get financing to buy the home. It is not a guaranteed loan offer.
Don’t worry about which word lenders use. Some lenders may use the word pre-qualification, while other lenders may call the letter a pre-approval. In reality, lenders processes vary widely, and the words they use don’t tell you much about a particular lender’s process. The important thing is that the letter you receive provides enough information for sellers in your area to take it seriously. The best way to make sure that the letter you have will serve its purpose is to ask a local real estate agent.
What is a FICO Score?
What can I afford and my Debt to Income Ratio?
This is an individual question and is entirely driven by what your needs and financial wants are in relation to the loan and home. Loans are also driven by “debt to income ratio” and this is a key aspect of what you can afford. Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. Your DTI is a key piece of the puzzle as is your credit score. The higher your DTI, the less likely you may qualify for a home loan. There are ways to lower your DTI or keep it from continuing to increase:
- Avoid taking on more debt
- Do not make large purchases prior to buying a home especially on credit.
- Pay down or pay off debt if possible
Many times, borrowers feel they must clean up their credit prior to applying for a loan – STOP! Doing this on your own can be a big mistake that may take you months to recover from and result in missing out on that perfect home. Credit is complicated and trying to do something on your own can have negative and long term effects that you may not even know until you go to APPLY for a home loan. In today’s world just paying off debts and collections or closing accounts may be catastrophic for your credit score. Many times, scores are just where they need to be and you may not need to do anything, this is why it is imperative to chat with Theresa before doing something that could hurt you long term. Theresa will help you get the best information and work with you to make sure you do not make these mistakes.
Rent v. Own
- In many cases, the cost of ownership is actually less than renting.
- Property taxes and interest can be itemized for tax deductions. *Not tax advice, consult a tax advisor.
- Experience the freedom to renovate and make your home feel truly “yours.”
- With stable monthly mortgage payments, you don’t have to worry about unexpected, sporadic rises in rent.
- Make a positive impact on your credit score when paying down your home loan on time.