Buying a house is a serious investment—probably one of the greatest you will ever make. Unless you have a pool full of money, you will need a plan on how to buy your house and sort out your finances before. In fact, finances are so important that you will need to work on them much before you decide to apply for a mortgage. This way, even if your finances or credit score need some improvement, you will buy yourself some time to sort them out. Hence, we have decided to provide you with a couple of useful pieces of advice on how to sort out your finances for the first big shopping.
You Need to Know What Lenders Are Looking at When Assessing Your Financial Balance
Once you apply for a home loan, the lenders will want to assess whether or not you can pay back your loan. They will check to see if you have a steady income and will look at how much cash you do have to cover the down payment, taxes, closing costs, as well as some other expenses. Your recent banking activity, together with your investments and some other aspects of your finances, will be examined too.
Save for Your Down Payment
The bigger your down payment is, the better. You should save as much as you can for your down payment. The greater your down payment is, the more of your home you will own from the very beginning. This will make your position with the lenders much better, as they will presume you to be a lower risk. With a trusted broker, you will be able to find the home where you will have a chance to make a bigger down payment. Also, more money at the beginning will help you avoid private mortgage insurance.
Credit Scores and Credit Reports
It is not really possible to say exactly what your credit score is, as that depends on the situation, but there are some practices that can help you with it, especially if you adopt them a year or longer before you apply for the mortgage. You can pay your bills on time, as your credit scores will indeed fall if you miss payments on a credit card or some other debt. Try to use less of the available credit. Namely, your credit utilization ratio is one of the most important factors in your score. Some other things to pay attention to are holding off on opening new credit accounts and maintaining the mix of credit accounts.
Measure Your Debt-to-Income Ratio
DTI, or debt-to-income ratio, is a rate that calculates your outstanding debt as a percentage of your pre-tax income. This is used by lenders as one of the ways to gauge the ability to pay out the mortgage. Lenders can extend their loans to borrowers with a debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent. But in general, you will need other compensating factors such as high cash reserves, and even in these situations, it is quite rare.
Buying your own home is one of the biggest milestones you will ever achieve and definitely the first serious investment. However, for this to come true, you will need to sort out your finances before you even apply for the mortgage.