2017 is expected to be a big year for first time home buyers. What important tips should you know and put to work?
1. Make the Move Before Mortgage Rates Do
There are a lot of potential changes that could be coming to the MI real estate market and mortgage industry this year. One that is almost certain is a series of interest rate hikes. Higher interest rates can make the same home much more expensive, much faster than property value increases. So, start home shopping early, and lock in your rate.
2. Know the Full Cost of Homeownership
If you are going to buy a home that you can sustain, make sure you know all the costs. That means any mortgage payments, association dues, property taxes, insurance, and anything else. It is also smart to budget for maintenance, and to leave a cushion of some of these costs to rise over time.
3. Know Your Credit
Credit bureaus and mortgage companies are always changing how they evaluate and score your credit. The last couple years have seen some notable changes in credit scoring models. Look them up on credible platforms like MyFICO.com. It’s also worth getting a copy of your credit report in advance so that you can shop around for a mortgage, and know when you are getting a fair deal. Just avoid repeatedly checking your credit, which can bring down your score. Some online platforms like LendingTree used to be notorious for leading to many credit inquiries, and in turn destroying the credit score of borrowers right before they expected to close on a home.
4. Check Your ID
Make sure you have the forms of identification your mortgage lender and MI title company are going to need to allow you to sign and close on your new home. Make sure those government issued forms of ID are also going to be valid for a minimum of 6 months after your closing date.
5. Review Your Closing Disclosures
Take the time to review your Closing Disclosures carefully, in advance. You need to know exactly how much money you’ll need to bring to closing, and want to ensure there are no mistakes. Don’t be shy about taking your time to read fine print, and asking the same question until you understand what various charges are for.
What will you buy this year?