Getting a Mortgage – Checklist

Are you ready for a house?

  • Are you financially and mentally ready for home ownership? 
  • Would it be better to wait until you are more prepared to take on a mortgage and home ownership? 
  • Do you have money set aside in your savings account for a down payment on the house, repairs, home improvements, and unexpected expenses? 
  • Do you have a stable income so you are confident you can make your mortgage payments each month? 
  • Do you have any barriers to getting a mortgage (no credit, bad credit, not able to pay bills, maxing out your credit card)?

Finding a mortgage lender

  • Have you talked with several mortgage lenders? 
  • Did you find a mortgage lender who you like and trust? 

Getting prequalified for a mortgage 

  • Have you collected all personal and financial information required by the bank to get a mortgage? 
  • Are you pre-qualified by the bank for a mortgage? 
  • Has the bank sent you a pre-qualification letter to share with your realtor? 
  • Are you comfortable with the loan information included in the pre-qualification letter (loan amount, interest rate, number of years for loan)? 

Down payment

  • Do you know how much money you want or need to use for your down payment? 
  • Have you considered increasing your down payment in order to purchase a more expensive home or lowering the amount of money you need to borrow from the bank? 
  • Have you talked with your mortgage lender to see if you qualify for a first-time homebuyer program? 
  • Do you know what your estimated monthly mortgage payment will be? 
  • Are there other things you can do in case you need more money to buy a house (ask someone for help with a larger down payment, find ways to increase your monthly income)? 

Interest rate

  • Do you understand the difference between a fixed and adjustable/variable interest rate? 
  • Do you know the difference in the monthly payment amounts for a fixed versus variable interest rate? 
  • Have you talked with your mortgage lender on which type of interest rate works best for your situation? 
  • Have you decided which type of interest rate you prefer? 
  • If you chose the variable interest rate, do you know how much the monthly loan payments will be if the interest rate increases while you still have the loan? 

Number of years for the loan

  • Have you compared the monthly payment amounts for 15- and 30-year mortgages? 
  • Did you decide whether you want a 15-year mortgage or a 30-year mortgage? 

Getting the loan

  • After you found a house to purchase, did the bank finalize the interest rate, mortgage amount, and number of years for the loan? 
  • Are you aware of the penalties for making a late mortgage payment or missing a mortgage payment? 

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