Great article by Nena Groskind in the Herald today.
If you’re going to be buying your first home, keep these things in mind:
(H)ere are my top 10 suggestions for first-time purchasers:
– Credit reports. Donâ€™t even start looking at homes until youâ€™re sure bad credit or errors in your credit history wonâ€™t block you from getting a mortgage.
Before house hunting, get a copy of your credit report from one or more of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
Youâ€™re entitled to a free report from each company once per year. (See AnnualCreditReport.com for details.)
– Loan pre-approval. Have a bank review your financial information and â€œpre-approveâ€? you for a mortgage.
Once youâ€™re pre-approved, actually getting a loan is usually only contingent on how much the home you want to buy appraises for.
Mortgage pre-approval is better than â€œpre-qualification,â€? which just tells you how big a loan youâ€™ll qualify for if your application passes the lenderâ€™s review.
– Be realistic. Carefully consider how much home you can really afford. Just because the bank says you qualify for a $300,000 mortgage doesnâ€™t mean you can comfortably make the monthly payments.
Leave yourself some wiggle room by buying a home somewhat cheaper than the most expensive one you can get approved for.
All ten tips: Advice for new house hunters – by Nena Groskind, The Boston Herald