Mortgage MYTHS (& truths):

How far in advance should I apply for a mortgage?

Ideally, you want to start the process when you are shopping around for a new home. Doing so will tell you exactly how much you can afford, what your monthly payments will be, and what your total monthly obligations are.

When should you consider refinancing?

Here are a few signs to consider:

You think you can lower your rate by 2 percentage points or more.

You want to renovate but you need your home equity to do so.

You want to shorten your mortgage term (to pay your home off faster) or extend it out (to lower your monthly payment).

You’ve looked at the closing costs and calculated the break-even point — and everything looks A-OK.

I just got a new job. Will this impact getting a mortgage?

Most lenders like to see a two-year job history in the same field though changing jobs for a better position could be seen as favorable. If you’re a soon-to-be college grad, you may be able to get a home loan even without a two-year work history.

Do I need 20% down to purchase a house?

While putting 20% down can improve your chances of getting approved and locking in a lower rate (and monthly payment), lenders and mortgage programs will accept less than 20% so long as you buy mortgage insurance.

Will multiple mortgage applications hurt my credit score?

No. Many credit-scoring agencies are forgiving when it comes to borrowers shopping for the best rate. Agencies don't treat all inquiries the same. In fact, mortgage, auto, and student loan inquiries enjoy special treatment because credit scorers know you’re hunting for the best rate. Remember, comparative shopping is always the smartest move to make, especially when you're financing a major purchase like a home.

What are my down payment options?

  • 20 percent: If you can swing it, putting 20% down has its benefits like lower payments, more equity, and no PMI.

  • 10 percent: For an FHA loan, you’ll need 10% and a credit score of 500 to 579.

  • 3.5 percent: If your score is a little higher (580+), 3.5% will do for an FHA loan.

  • 3 percent: A conventional loan owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac requires as little as 3% down.

  • 0 percent: Qualify for a VA loan or a USDA loan? That’ll be zero dollars down, please. High-five!

PMI, FHA, VA, USDA….choosing the right loan and down payment doesn’t have to be confusing. If you’re researching your options and have questions, reach out. I’d love to point you in the right direction!

Three Things to know about Down Payments

How long is a pre approval good for?

A pre-approval is valid for about 30-90 days. Be sure to check with your lender, as it may vary.

5 types of loans for homebuyers

Conventional mortgage: Loans backed by private lenders rather than the government. You may even qualify with as little as 3% down

Adjustable-rate mortgage: Loans with low initial interest rates that mean big savings early on, but over time the interest rate typically increases.

Fixed-rate mortgages: Loans with predictable payments month after month, year after year.

Government-insured mortgages: FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans. These government-insured options make homeownership more accessible if you have less liquid cash or less-than-stellar credit.

Jumbo mortgages: Common in high-cost areas, these loans allow homeowners to borrow more money in expensive zip codes.

If you need guidance or suggestions of awesome loan officers in your area, let me know! I'd love to help.

Getting a mortgage doesn’t haven’t be complicated or overwhelming so long as you know what to expect going in.

Here’s an overview of the entire process start to finish:

1. Mortgage pre-approval: Just a bit of paperwork to see what you can and want to spend. It also show sellers you’re a serious buyer once it comes time to write an offer.

2. Shop and make an offer: Work with an agent to search for the home in the location(s) you desire most. Work with you Realtor to make offer sellers can’t refuse!

3. Loan application: Beef up what you started in the pre-approval process to get your loan ready for underwriting.

4. Loan processing: Loan processors review all info provided in your loan file and gather documents about the house for the underwriter.

5. Underwriting: Underwriters are the key decision-makers in the whole process. With everything reviewed, he or she will approve, reject, or come back and ask for additional documentation.

6. Closing: Once you’ve made it to closing, you’re in the home stretch. Documents are approved, and after a few signatures, the house is officially yours!

Want to speak with a lender? Reach out today & lets set you up with a top notch lender!

Let’s Connect!

The BEST thing for you is to find a Realtor that you can trust to guide you with the education, tools and professionals needed to make the best decision for you, now or in the future!

Not in Massachusetts? Reach out and let me help you find a trusted agent in your area!

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