If you’re planning to buy a home in the near future, today’s message is for you. I’ve compiled a list of some handy tips to keep in mind when you’re applying for a mortgage.

1. Apply for the mortgage you can afford today. Yes, we’re all planning to get better-paying jobs, but take this time to be conservative with your budget. You don’t want to become house-poor! Your lender may pre-qualify you for a lot more money than you should feel comfortable spending based on your monthly budget.

2. Comparison shop between multiple lenders. I can refer you to several great lenders, but they all have different programs and rates, so be sure to talk with each of them to figure out which would be the best fit for you. Considering the kind of purchase you’re about to make, take a little extra time to make sure that you’re getting the best for you and your family.

“Considering the kind of purchase you’re about to make, take a little extra time to make sure that you’re getting the best for you and your family.”

3. Make sure you’re getting a good rate. You might be surprised at how many options you have to get a better rate than what you currently do. You can increase your down payment, which may reduce your debt-to-income ratio;  you can pay off some outstanding bills/credit cards; or you could have a  parent or someone with better credit co-sign with you, to name a couple examples. Speak with your lender about the options you can take.

4. Make sure you understand the rate lock. This is incredibly important for you to discuss with your lender. When a lender approves your mortgage application and guarantees you a mortgage rate, there is a specific timeframe in which you need to lock that rate in; if that timeframe expires, the rate is subject to fluctuation.

Hopefully, these tips will help you first-time homebuyers out there get through the purchase process smoother and quicker. If you’re in need of a lender for your own transaction or you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you however I can.