Are you looking at your first home? Do you have lots of questions and aren't sure which way to go? Here are some suggestions to help you through the homebuying process.
Talk to friends and family for suggestions on realtors and loan officers. You may need to talk to more than one loan officer – in fact I suggest it in a first time homebuyer class I teach. Not every lender has the same programs and some loan officers may not know about a program that may help you. I have had friends that work at different mortgage companies refer clients to me because I have a program that they may not have access to, I have referred clients to others lenders for the same reason. I just had a friend refer a client of hers to me today for that reason, I have access to a first time homebuyer program that she doesn't and it will help this client. Ask the lenders you talk to about first time programs and see if they work with any special programs. If they say no or aren't comfortable with first time programs, you may want to call another lender. It may be another loan officer at the same company – some times loan officers don't want to deal with programs that require special training and that's ok.
Make sure you check your credit report – you can look online at www.annualcreditreport.com – it won't give you a credit score, but it is a free program that allows you to look at your report once a year. By checking it first, you know if there are any issues you need to take care of before a lender pulls your report.
Have the documentation ready for your loan officer – typically you will need two years of tax returns and w'2s, 2 months of bank statements and your last two paystubs. That way your loan officer will be able to verify the income and assets you have for the purchase of a home. You may need a divorce decree or gift letter documentation – it will depend on your own situation.
Make sure you are not making cash deposits into your bank account. Your lender will need to verify the money you use in the transaction and we can't verify where cash came from!
Make sure you ask questions. There are first time homebuyer classes available through county programs and online with Fannie Mae. These are great resources to answer questions that you may have. The more information you have, the more comfortable you will be with the process. We know there is a lot that goes into the process of buying a home so the more information you have, the better!