Donna Moy-Bruno's Blog
Credit plays an important role in your ability to secure a home loan and to qualify for a low-interest mortgage. However, many first-time homebuyers aren’t aren’t sure about the exact relationship between credit scores and mortgages.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering the many factors that go into your credit score and into your lender’s decision to approve you for a mortgage. So, in this article, we’re going to cover three commonly asked questions that homebuyers have about credit scores and how they’re used by mortgage lenders to determine your eligibility for a home loan.
Will my credit score go down if I check my credit report?
If you’re thinking of buying a home in the near future, one of the first things you’ll want to do is check your credit. However, if you’ve heard that some credit inquiries briefly lower your credit score you might be hesitant to find out.
This common misconception stems from the fact that taking out new lines of credit results in a temporary decrease in your credit score. The difference between checking your credit and a credit inquiry is simple: a credit check you can access for free online through a service like Credit Karma, whereas a credit inquiry is performed by a lender or creditor with whom you’ve applied for credit.
In short, checking your credit score online won’t affect your score. In fact, the major credit bureaus are required to allow you to check your credit for free once per year.
Can I get a loan with low credit?
Increasing your credit score is a lengthy process that requires careful financial management. Many people who have had difficulties paying off bills, loans, and credit cards will have to rebuild their credit. Or, if you’re young and don’t have a diverse history of credit payments, you’ll be starting from scratch to build your score.
If you’re hoping to get an FHA (first-time homeowner loan), the lowest your score can be is 580. However, that doesn’t mean you should always take a loan with a low credit score. When you don’t have a good credit history, lenders will seek other ways to guarantees their investment. This comes in the form of higher interest rates or PMI (private mortgage insurance) which you’ll have to pay on top of your monthly home insurance and mortgage payments.
Will applying for a home loan affect my credit?
Simply stated, yes. However, applying for a loan or get preapproved is considered a credit inquiry and won’t leave any lasting negative on your credit score. Making several inquiries within a short period of time, however, can significantly lower your score, so choose your inquiries wisely. And, be sure to monitor your credit score on a monthly basis so you have an idea of where you stand along the road to applying for a home loan.
The decision to buy a home can bring all sorts of emotions. From stress to joy to fear, you need to be prepared for any situation to arise. From saving up enough money for a down payment to securing financing to hoping for a smooth closing, buying a home is a complex event. Just about the worst thing that can happen in the process is finding the home of your dreams and then having your offer rejected. If you do lose out on the house to another bidder, below, you’ll find a few reasons why.
The Home Is Above Your Means
If you go after a home that’s above a price that you can afford, it’s likely that your offer will be declined. Look at all of your numbers and find a reasonable price point with your real estate agent. Be sure that your agent won’t show you homes that are far above your budget. Don’t risk falling in love with a house that you can’t afford. If you start big, you may be disappointed at the type of home you actually can fit in with your budget.
A Better Offer Came In
In high competition markets or for a home that’s receiving a lot of attention, sellers may get multiple offers. All that attention is why it’s always best to keep your offer as close to the asking price as possible. Don’t assume that other buyers will bid low. Remember that sellers want to get the most return on their home, which means they are going to take the highest offer in most cases.
You also don’t want to get too carried away in asking for contingencies. If you ask too much of a seller’s, they won’t bother giving your offer serious consideration when other buyers have asked them to put less time and money into the home. Don’t ask for unnecessary repairs or over the top back costs.
You’re Not Approved For A Mortgage
The seller wants you to have a home loan pre-approved so that the process of selling their home will be that much smoother. Some seller may only consider bids by buyers who have been pre-approved for a loan. You should definitely be pre-approved before you even set out on your home search.
To get your offer accepted on a home you love, you need to do your homework. As a buyer, you want to keep the needs of the seller in mind. Although you want the best deal for yourself, you're more likely to get a property that you want if you compromise a bit.
Ready to buy a house? It pays to be proactive, especially if you hope to streamline the process of acquiring a terrific residence at a budget-friendly price.
A superb house is likely to stir up interest from large groups of homebuyers. Fortunately, with a proactive approach, you can stay ahead of the homebuying competition and boost your chances of securing a wonderful house.
Ultimately, there are several best practices for proactive homebuyers, and these practices include:
1. Search for Homes Early and Often
The early bird catches the wom. Much in the same vein, a proactive homebuyer is better equipped than others to achieve his or her desired results.
Keep a close eye on the housing market – you'll be glad you did. If you monitor home listings in your city or town, you can quickly identify potential properties that you may want to buy.
In addition, evaluate housing market trends and patterns. With this housing market data in hand, you can differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Meet with several banks and lenders in your area. By doing so, you can explore a variety of mortgage options and select one that complements your finances.
There is no shortage of mortgage options at your disposal. For example, many homebuyers prefer a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which guarantees they will pay the same amount each month for the life of a mortgage. On the other hand, some homebuyers choose a 15-year adjustable-rate mortgage, which features lower upfront payments that gradually increase over time.
If you're uncertain about which mortgage option to select, there is no need to worry. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals who can help you make an informed decision.
Perhaps best of all, meeting with mortgage professionals guarantees you can receive expert responses to your concerns and questions. These mortgage professionals will devote the necessary time and resources to assist you and make it simple for you to select a great mortgage.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you want to enter the housing market, there is no reason to wait. In fact, if you contact a real estate agent today, you can immediately launch a successful homebuying journey.
A real estate agent is dedicated to your homebuying success. He or she first will learn about your homebuying goals, ensuring you can start the homebuying journey on the right foot. Then, this housing market professional can help you narrow your search for your dream residence.
In most instances, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new residences as they become available and help you submit home offers. This housing market professional also provides a one-of-a-kind homebuying resource. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Don't wait to kick off a homebuying journey. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can become a proactive homebuyer.
Finding a mortgage lender should be easy, particularly for homebuyers who want to purchase a high-quality residence without having to worry about spending too much. However, many mortgage lenders are available nationwide, and the sheer volume of lenders can make it difficult to choose the right one.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of selecting the ideal lender.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that homebuyers can use to accelerate the process of choosing the perfect lender.
1. Know Your Credit Score
Your mortgage interest rate may vary based on your credit score. As such, you should learn your credit score before you begin your search for the right lender. This will enable you to boost your credit score if necessary – something that may help you get a preferred mortgage interest rate.
You are eligible for one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Request a copy of your credit report, and you can find out your credit score and map out your search for the ideal mortgage lender accordingly.
2. Meet with Several Mortgage Lenders
There is no shortage of mortgage lenders in cities and towns around the country. Therefore, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to meet with several credit unions and banks to explore all of your mortgage options.
Each lender can provide details about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, how these mortgages work and other pertinent mortgage information. This information can help you make an informed decision about a mortgage.
In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions when you meet with a mortgage lender. If you obtain plenty of information from a mortgage lender, you'll be able to understand the pros and cons of various mortgage options and make the best choice possible.
3. Review a Mortgage Closely
A mortgage may enable you to secure your dream residence, but it is important to understand all of the terms and conditions associated with a mortgage before you select a lender.
For example, if you decide to purchase a condo, your mortgage might only cover the costs of your property. Meanwhile, you still may be responsible for condo homeowners' association fees that total hundreds of dollars each month, so you'll need to budget properly.
Of course, you should feel comfortable working with a mortgage lender as well. The ideal mortgage lender should be available to answer your concerns and questions at any time and help you stay on track with your monthly mortgage payments.
If you need extra assistance as you consider the mortgage lenders in your area, you can reach out to a real estate agent for additional support. This housing market professional can provide insights into mortgage interest rates and may even be able to connect you with the top local lenders.
Take the guesswork out of finding the right mortgage lender – use these tips, and you can move one step closer to getting the financing you need to buy your dream residence.
Before you make the final decision to buy any property, one of the best steps to take is to request a home inspection to be done by an experienced home inspector. You probably don't know how to ascertain the quality of the foundation or the condition the electrical wiring is, so having a home inspector conduct a visit helps you identify things that you should watch out for as well as things to note before you finally purchase the home.
- Check the property on your own first. It's always helpful if you have had time to check out the house yourself before hiring a home inspector. You will be aware of things to point out to the inspector as likely issues, and the inspector can reassure you about things with which you are unfamiliar. This collaboration enables you to raise the questions when you are checking the property out with the home inspector.
- Be present in person during the inspection. Being there is equally as important as checking it out on your own first as you will have a chance to check those things you have seen earlier again and this time with a professional. Also, you want to be sure that the home inspector checks out every part of the property as he ought to, this he will do if you are present.
- Take your camera along with you for pictures. Every process of buying a new house requires getting great pictures for yourself as this helps you check again when you have a clearer head. You might not get an opportunity to go back to the house to have a second look at something you just remembered when talking about the property with your spouse or friends. So, it's always a great choice to have your camera with you during the inspection. Lots of pictures aid a quality decision.
- Work with a trustworthy inspector. Buying a property often costs a great deal, so it's best you work with folks that come recommended to you and that you can recommend. You don’t want to work with a home inspector without any loyalty to you or a credible recommendation from the past. To avoid any form of regret or fraud, you should seek out a trustworthy inspector so you can be sure you are getting a great property.
If you need help finding a reliable home inspector, you should ask your neighborhood real estate professional for recommendations.