In about three months or so, it won’t just be spring; it will be the best time to buy a home as well. With spring fast approaching, you need to start early to learn as much as you can about purchasing a house if you want to make the most of the 2017 home-buying season.
As an experienced title insurance professional, I can guide you down the right path to homeownership. To begin with, let’s look at three things you should do before you start house hunting in order to turn this process into a rewarding experience.
1. Shop Within Your Budget
Before you start house hunting, I strongly recommend that you check what homes are in your price range. One way to find out how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a home is to go through the mortgage pre-approval process.
Using the information you provide, a mortgage broker will give you a rough estimate of the maximum mortgage amount you may qualify for. To get to this, the lender will analyze your financial situation, check your monthly income and total debt (including mortgage payments, car payments, credit cards, other loans, etc.), and calculate your debt-to-income ratio. Though the maximum debt-to-income ratio varies by lender and loan program, it shouldn’t exceed 43% of your gross monthly income to qualify for a mortgage.
In addition, getting pre-approved before you start house hunting puts you in a better position compared to other potential home buyers who don’t have pre-approval letters from lenders.
2. Look for a Reliable Title Insurance Company
Finding a reputable and competent title insurer before you start house hunting can help you enjoy a problem-free and efficient home-buying process. Since title companies play an integral role in real estate transactions, having a title insurer involved from the very beginning can make the whole process go smoother.
For a less overwhelming and chaotic home-buying process, be sure to enlist the services of a team of title insurance professionals who are responsive to your needs, comply with ALTA Best Practices – which are the highest industry standards – and are ready to walk you through every step of the process.
3. Choose the Best Mortgage Option for You
With your title insurer chosen, it’s time to search for the right lender and type of mortgage. The easiest way to get the right financing solution for your individual financial needs is to review the different types of mortgage products available nowadays.
Most lenders provide multiple mortgage options such as fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, convertible, growing-equity, bi-weekly mortgages, manufactured home loans, FHA and VA loans. Once you find a type of mortgage that fits your financial situation, the next step is to start shopping around for the best deal.
House hunting can take up a lot of time. But doing your research beforehand, creating a plan and hiring the right professionals can help you make the process more efficient.
To find out all the secrets for successful house hunting, please don’t hesitate to contact Guardian Title & Trust, Inc. with any questions you might have. Our experienced title, escrow and closing professionals are prepared to embark with you on your journey toward homeownership.