The market we are experiencing today is probably one of the most volatile the United States has ever witnessed.
Having said that, let me also preface this article by saying that this is currently a buyer’s market for sure and all those who can, would be wise taking advantage of it. Not only will the buyer walk away with a great deal, but the seller will unload their property and get on with life.
I have 13 years experience in the mortgage industry in many facets of the game including, but not limited to credit counseling. The very first step I would suggest in financing a real estate purchase is to obtain a copy of your full blown credit report complete with the scores. You can do this by paying a nominal sum to each credit reporting agency. It is well worth the investment of your time and money at least once a year.
Once you have your credit report with scores in hand, take them to a financial adviser you trust. If you have a favorite loan officer, banker, or broker that you’ve had success with , then I suggest you make an appointment to see them. This is an educated professional who can comb through your credit with you and point out “trouble spots” and inaccuracies. It is very important that you go over your credit very thoroughly. 90 % of all consumers have at least one mistake on their credit. These mistakes can be costly and can haunt you for 7-10 years.
Once you have sat down with your adviser and gone over your credit, you will need to dispute anything that is incorrect and be patient of the process it takes to correct these items. The credit bureaus have only a certain amount of time to complete the process- typically 30 days. When your credit is corrected, you may have to ask for a re score or your bureau may re score your report automatically.
Re-scores can be pricey if ordered through a broker etc, so be sure to ask what the cost will be prior to requesting one.
Once you have everything straight with your credit bureau, I suggest you do your homework. Have your loan officer write down some scenarios that you qualify for and take those home to consider without the pressure of the loan officer breathing down your neck. If there is a term you don’t understand, do not ever hesitate or be afraid to ask. You can also find a wealth of information on-line.
A loan officer worth their salt will never dodge your calls or hesitate to answer your questions honestly and completely. They will also tell you when they don’t have an answer for you and they will make sure to find one as soon as possible.
It would be too lengthy to detail all of the programs available to the average consumer in just one article, however if you do your homework and look at all of your options equally, you should be able to find the home loan that is right for you.
Remember two things when buying a home… 1. Don’t let anyone pull your credit until you are ready to do the transaction. Purchase your own report with scores on-line because it does not add inquiries and affect your score negatively!
And 2. Keep in mind that all real estate transactions are like a pregnancy. There is a lot of build up to a wonderful ending and each one is different! Don’t assume you can’t find an honest loan officer out there… they do exist. Always remember : BUYER BEWARE!
Good luck and happy house hunting!