How much can you afford when buying a home in Pierce County? What is affordable? Know the answer to this before browsing online. Beautiful homes and/or great opportunities can be really persuasive and the reality is, you don’t want to leave yourself disappointed when you realize your dream home is (for now!) out of reach. Crunch the numbers FIRST and I promise you will be happier and more satisfied in the end.
GETTING A LOAN
INCOME. ASSETS. LIABILITIES. CREDIT SCORE.
There are many different loan types. All of them require verification of your income, assets, liabilities and credit score. After this information is gathered from the lender it will become clear what loan type is best for you. High Credit Scores, consistent work history and sizable downpayment (20%+) are favored and likely result in a better interest rate compared to lower down payment or riskier loan types. Explore all of your options and interview several lenders to assure you are confident with the licensed loan officer and loan type.
Also note, that you may discover something about your credit score or otherwise that you didn’t know! This can happen and is all the more reason to partner with a lender sooner rather than later. Take initiative so your plans of investing in a home aren’t set back.
DOWN PAYMENT FOR YOUR LOAN
The amount of money you’ve dedicated towards your down payment is usually what dictates the loan type you’ll use. If you’re active or retired Military, using your VA benefits is almost always the best option (0% and no PMI – amazing). Also – thank you for your service. Look at your overall loan qualification as a risk assessment. A traditional conventional loan is one that buyers generally use who have higher credit scores and a larger down payment. Buyers are motivated to pay 20% or more as a down payment so they are not charged premium mortgage insurance (PMI). FHA is utilized by first time home buyers with little or no money down. You do have to pay PMI when using an FHA loan and the monthly amount varies based on the home, location and borrower qualifications. Determining what is affordable goes hand in hand with what type of loan you’ll use.
There are also programs like downpayment assistance that you can research.
QUALIFIED AND APPROVED FOR A HOME LOAN
After you determine what is affordable for you and what loan type you’d like to use, get it done! Many lenders have the option of collecting all of your required documentation up front (W2’s, taxes, income, debts, bank statements – basically everything but a blood sample)! Do this so you can outcompete other buyers with your guaranteed or (as industry professionals say) fully underwritten approval letter. You will thank yourself for it – I promise!