Depending on the loan program you are looking to obtain, you don't necessarily have to have the traditional 20% down payment these days, however, the more you can put down, the better off you'll be. Not only will you start this transaction off with a little equity in your home, but you're also likely to get better rates and terms if you have a nice size down payment.
2. Check Your Credit.
Your credit score plays a big role in getting approved for a mortgage at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you don't have any idea what your credit score is, it's a good idea to take a look. There might be ways you can improve that score before you apply for a mortgage. You'll also want to check your credit report for any mistakes. If you're worried about your credit score, talk to your mortgage professional for advice on how to work on repairing it.
3. Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval.
Before you dive into the house hunting process, it's important that you talk to a mortgage lender at the Lake of the Ozarks and get a mortgage pre-approval. The pre-approval is the first step any serious home buyer should take. Not only does the process help you determine what you can afford, it shows both sellers and real estate agents that you're serious about buying a home. Real estate agents will be more eager to work with you and sellers will likely be willing to negotiate and/or accept your bid over those who don't have a pre-approval.
Once you have your pre-approval, you'll know how much you'll be able to borrow. You can use this information to come up with an affordable budget for your homeowner expenses. Remember that you need to consider more than just your monthly mortgage payment. You need to consider taxes, homeowner's insurance and any emergency expenses that may arise. You no longer have a landlord to take care of all the home maintenance issues that can come up unexpectedly.
5. Find a Good Real Estate Agent.
With all the resources available today, it might seem fine to start your home search on your own. While you might be able to find the perfect home by browsing listings online, you don't have the expertise on how real estate transactions work. Your agent does so much more than just show you homes you would be interested in. They're there to work with you through the process to help you understand the paperwork and transaction details, as well as answer any questions you may have. They can also help with negotiations and ensure the entire process runs smoothly.
6. Make a Needs and Wants List.
Another step you should take before looking at properties is to make a list of things you need in a home and things you would want in a home. Unless you're building your own home, you're likely not going to find one that has everything you desire. You're going to have to determine what's most important and then make some compromises. Making a list will help you narrow down the properties that you will go look at, and keep you from wasting any time.
7. Prepare Yourself Emotionally.
Buying a home can be an emotional process. It's important that you don't let your emotions cloud your judgement. Buying a home is one of the largest purchases you'll ever make in your life. It's important that you make financially responsible decisions in regard to a home purchase. Therefore, it's a good idea to prepare yourself emotionally before you start looking at homes. You don't want to get attached to something you can't afford.
If you're ready to start the home buying process, give me a call at 573-746-7211 today! As your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender, I'm here to help you with everything from the pre-approval to the closing. I'll discuss your options, offer competitive interest rates and back it up with the first-class service you deserve!
For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712
4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.