Buying a home can be a fun endeavor, filled with the excitement of anticipation. But looking at potential homes is just part of the process. You also have to get financing to purchase that new dream home. It’s at this stage that everything can fall through – when all that excitement can turn into disappointment. To help you avoid that eventuality, we offer this step-by-step guide for getting a loan to buy a house in Athens. Here are the steps…
Begin Saving for the Down Payment
The down payment is often the biggest obstacle and highest hurdle for home buyers. But without sufficient funds to make that down payment, you may not be able to get a mortgage loan from a lender.
The typical down payment ranges from 3.5% to 20% of the purchase price. And that can be a substantial chunk of change.
So begin now saving for that down payment well before you set out to buy a house in Athens. You could begin by making out a budget, and then have whatever surplus you find automatically deposited from your paycheck into a dedicated savings account. And then don’t touch it. If you are fortunate enough to have someone in your life a relative or friend who is willing to provide you with the down payment or some portion of it then you should reach out to your mortgage provider and find out how best to receive those funds. Without it negatively affecting you in any way.
Work on Your Credit Score
A good credit score will not only increase your chances of getting financing to buy a house in Athens but will also get you the best deal on a loan. So check your credit score and get it up if it’s less than optimal.
You can get a free copy (one per year) of your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. And for a small fee, the reports will include your credit score. Google to learn how you can pull your credit score for free once a year.
Gather All Pertinent Financial Documents
Before setting out to shop for a mortgage to buy a house in Athens, you should get all your important financial documents in order. Having all these documents ready to hand will speed up the loan application process considerably. Most lenders require at least the following:
- Last two pay stubs
- Most recent W-2
- Past two years’ tax returns
- Bank statements
Go Mortgage Shopping
In order to buy a house in Athens, most of us will have to borrow money, that is, get a mortgage loan. But as with any large purchase, you need to do some comparison shopping because not all mortgages are created equal.
Talk to at least three lenders and look at the differences in fees and points. It’s also a good idea to track interest rates and strike while they are the lowest. Here is a pro tip. Try to use a mortgage professional who is local to the area in which you will be purchasing your new home. Also, try smaller banks that keep their loans in-house since they have more options than the national chains that sell their mortgages to institutions.
Consider Loan Options
You should also think about the kind of mortgage that will best meet your needs when you buy a house in Athens. Will a 15-year or a 30-year mortgage best suit your unique circumstances? Do you want a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate mortgage? The fact is that the standard old 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is not always the best option anymore. So make sure you speak to your lender and have them explain the differences and suggest what is best for your circumstances.
Most agents advise buyers to get pre-approved for a mortgage in order to be perceived as a serious buyer and to have more negotiating leverage. Getting pre-approved requires almost as much financial information as applying for the loan itself. So, basically, if you are pre-approved, you are almost certain to get the loan – if nothing changes. Make sure that nothing changes! Don’t make any purchases that you have to finance, don’t lose your job, don’t co-sign on any debt. Those are just a few don’ts. Ask your mortgage pro for more tips.
Don’t Blow It
If you truly do want to get a loan to buy a house in Athens, don’t mess things up during the loan processing period. Your eligibility and pre-qualification hang on the fact of nothing major changes in your financial situation.
So don’t do anything that will increase your debt and/or lower your credit score. Don’t, for instance, apply for new credits or make a major debt-based purchase like buying a new car.
Talk to Your Agent
While not a financial advisor, your local real estate agent will be there to help you through the whole house-buying process, which includes securing a mortgage. Having a skilled guide can make everything go much more smoothly. So when you get ready to buy a house in Athens, don’t neglect to use a good agent, they work with all sorts of different mortgage professionals and are very familiar with those who can help a deal close and those who stop deals from closing. Discover how our experienced agents can assist you. Just send us a message or give us a call at 706-426-1082.