Loan

Loan (Photo credit: Philip Taylor PT)

About the Author:  Chuck Walden (NMLS #148160) is a loan officer with GMAC Mortgage.  Email Chuck at chuck.walden@gmacm.com or call 678-725-8076. Website is www.ChuckWalden.com

It’s time to act.  If you have been patiently waiting for better rates and better home prices, 2013 could be your last chance.

1.  Move if you’re a buyer – Rates are still awesome and you may never hear the words “it’s a perfect time to buy a house” again.  Interest rates are expected to increase this year.  Higher rates mean more money out of your pocket and the amount of home you can afford will decrease.

2.  Be picky about your lender – Always ask your friends and family who they trust or have used in the past.  I guarantee that you will not only find out who to use, but you will definitely find out who not to.  Talk with the recommended lenders about service and turn times.  Buying a home can be the most stressful event in your life.  Closing on time should not be taken for granted.  GMAC Mortgage has a closing on time guarantee. Trust me.  Your agent and you will appreciate not having to worry.

3.  The fat lady hasn’t sung until the loan closes – At the risk of sounding strange….closing a loan is a battle.  It doesn’t matter if you have an 800 credit score, no debt, and a seven figure income.  You must work hard with your loan officer as a team.  If they need something, get it now.  Putting things off even one day slows down the process.  Three things I always tell me buyers.  First, do not accept any money from anyone until your loan closes.  What if we need an updated bank statement and there is a large deposit listed?  This is a problem and even more documentation is needed.  Second, do not apply for any credit until the loan closes.  Do not apply for any credit cards so you can get a discount of the new stove for the new house.  Your credit will be monitored and if an inquiry pops up, more documentation is needed.  Third, do not quit your job.  Now, I know this sounds crazy, but I have seen it happen on the day of closing.  You have to have a job with income.

4.  Check your credit annually – www.annualcreditreport.com is a great website to track your credit.  If you are planning on buying a home later this year, pull your three free reports and make sure that every item listed is in fact yours.  If not, take the steps to correct it.  Take a look at your credit card balances.  Generally speaking, you never want to go over 30% of the credit limit.  People tell me all of the time that they pay it off in full every month.  Great, but that will not matter if I check your credit and you have a $750 balance on a $1000 limit card.  Keep that balance at or below $300.  Do you have a MasterCard, Visa, AMEX, Kohl’s, Target, Sears, and Discover cards?  That’s too many.  Available credit is also a factor in determining credit scores.  If you’re interested, call or email me to discuss how to tackle this problem.

5.  Get preapproved – A good real estate agent will never show you a house without you getting preapproved first.  Some still do, but I think you would agree that it’s a waste of time and money to drive you around only to find out later that you don’t qualify.  Find out how much house you can afford and then proceed from there.  Lenders (good lenders) will give you exact figures on payment and a price range you should concentrate on.  It is imperative that you are armed with this knowledge before you Google the first area to start looking.

2013 I going to be a great year, but change is ahead of us.  Please let me know if I can help in any way.

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