• Get a copy of your credit report through www.MyFico.com. This will give us your true mortgage scores without a hard inquiry on your credit. You can also get a free copy of your report through someone like www.freecreditreport.com but it won’t give you the scores we use. There are 48 different FICO scoring models but only one that mortgage lenders use. No surprise, that this model is more conservative than most.
• Through an educational process, we can assist with understanding how credit scores work which may put you in a better position to get the best interest rate.
• Understand what you can afford. By going through what I call a “pencil exercise” we can determine, without pulling your credit, a good target price range. We will then prepare an estimate that will show you a detailed breakdown of the closing costs, tax and insurance escrow set up, how much cash you will need to have saved up and what your monthly payment will look like. This way, we can target a price range that is something you can afford and is comfortable for you, from a payment and down payment perspective.
• Identify where your down payment will come from. There are many different creative solutions on where to tap funds. Whether you have a house to sell or have no money in the bank, we have ideas that may surprise you.
• Pick a Realtor to work with. If you have a house to sell, they can help you determine an asking price, which will give you a better idea how much money you will have to work with. On the buy side, they have tools to help you zero in on listings that pop up in real time, in areas that fit your criteria.
By starting early, you will be well positioned to achieve your goal of homeownership in the coming year!
Happy House Hunting!!