Home ownership is a core component in establishing and living the American Dream. For most people, the ambition to acquire their own home is their most important goal, surpassing all others, and it is the primary influence and motivation for how they conduct their business, financial, and personal lives.
Most people will have to finance their home ownership by obtaining a home mortgage from a lending institution. The purpose of this article is to guide a potential homeowner through all the steps that must be taken in order to qualify for a home mortgage loan.
1. Find the right home for you
Before a prospective homeowner can begin the quest towards purchasing a home, there are many factors to consider, most of which are determined by some basic facts and assumptions.
How big is your family? What neighborhoods are you willing to consider?
Are schools a factor? Is a single-family home a requirement or is a condo an option?
Based on your income and assets, what kind of home can you afford?
For some home buyers, living in a specific neighborhood takes precedence above all else, whereas for others, the home itself is more important. In a perfect world, you’d find the ideal home, in your neighborhood of choice, at a price you can afford, but realistically, most people will have to make some compromises.
Make a list of the features you want in a home– the number of bedrooms, a fenced yard, granite countertops, a garage, etc.–and then rank them in terms of priorities. Decide whether the house or the neighborhood matters more to you, or whether you’re willing to make a longer commute in order to own a home with a larger lot.
These kinds of decisions need to be made before beginning the search for your new home. Zillow.com is a great resource to view estimated home values, school information, crime stats, and other important considerations.
But don’t place too much value on their “estimate” because often real-world prices are different.
2. Save for a down payment
Nearly all mortgage loans and lenders require some amount of
By William Slusser | Consumers Advocate