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Understanding the Mortgage Process

Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval

Many buyers apply for a mortgage and obtain approval before they find the home they want to buy. Why?

Pre-qualifying will help you in the following ways:

  1. Generally, interest rates are locked in for a set period of time. You will know in advance exactly what your payments will be for offers you choose to make.
  2. You won’t waste time considering homes you cannot afford.

Pre-approval will help you in the following ways:

  1. A seller may choose to make concessions if they know that your financing is secured. Being pre-approved may make your offer more competitive.
  2. You can select the best loan package without being under pressure.

How Much Home Can You Afford?

There are three key factors to consider:

  1. The down payment
  2. Your ability to qualify for a mortgage
  3. The closing costs associated with your transaction

Down Payment Requirements:

Most loans today require a down payment of between 3.5% and 5.0%, depending on the type and terms of the loan. There are many first-time home buyer loans available, along with special veterans’ (VA) loans. If you are able to provide a 20-25% down payment, you may be eligible to eliminate private mortgage insurance (PMI), lowering your monthly mortgage payments.

Closing Costs:

You will be required to pay fees for loan processing and other closing costs. These fees are paid in full at the final settlement, unless you are able to include them in your financing.

Qualifying for the Mortgage:

Most lenders require that your monthly payment range between 25-28% of your gross monthly income. Your mortgage payment to the lender includes the following items:

    • The principal on the loan (P)
    • The interest on the loan (I)
    • Property taxes (T)
    • Homeowner’s insurance (I)

Your monthly PITI and all debts (from installments to revolving charge accounts) should range between 33-38% of your gross monthly income.  These key factors determine your ability to secure a home loan:  credit report, assets, income, and property value.

If you would like to learn more about the mortgage process and the next steps to take toward buying your new home, please call us at 508-990-4280 or see our additional resources: