Sunday, February 15, 2009

How Much Can You Afford?

That's a great question and one a buyer should not take lightly. I recommend each buyer talk to a lender/loan officer before actually looking at homes. This way you won't find a home you love but you can't afford.

I can give you a list of reliable lenders who will meet with you personally and show you the latest programs available. Buyers should determine the amount you can afford each month and the amount of cash you will need at closing.

2009 is the year of change, especially in mortgage lending. The biggest change for buyers is the amount of money needed to put down on a loan. The minimum is 3.5% of the purchase price for FHA loans. Most conventional loans will require a minimum of 5% down payment. That does not include closing costs.

Talk to a lender/mortgage officer for details and get pre-qualified or pre-approved before looking at properties. This is very important.

Pre-qualified - A short conversation over the phone with a mortgage officer about your qualifications, income and debts. This is not a guarantee that you are truly qualified.

Pre-approved - The mortgage officer will actually check your credit and verify your income and debts. This is the best way to start the home buying process. The lender will also be able to give you a pre-approval letter, which will be important to have when you are ready to make an offer.

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