5 tips for getting your first mortgage

You’re ready to realize your dream of homeownership. You spotted the perfect neighborhood, the one with the tree-lined streets, tidy houses, and well-manicured lawns. The next step is to get a mortgage.  It can become overwhelming very quickly!  Take a deep breath and relax – although there is a fair amount to do – we can get you through the process fairly pain free!

Here are 5 tips to help you secure your first mortgage and make the process easier.   

Check your credit score.  A good credit score demonstrates to lenders your creditworthiness, that you have the financial self-control to pay back your mortgage. Credit scores range from 300 to 850. The higher the better because your score determines what mortgage rates you qualify for. Request a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Report any errors you see on your credit report immediately to get it corrected.

Manage your debit.  Don’t apply for any new credit cards or take out a new car loan while you are shopping for a mortgage. You want to keep what’s known as your debt-to-income ratio down, a formula lenders calculate to determine how much you can afford to borrow. It compares the amount you owe to what you earn each month. If the ratio is too high, you might be considered a financial risk. Another good way to keep your debt-to-income ratio down is to pay down your credit card balances. The less you owe creditors, the better.

Choose a lender or mortgage broker.  Don’t make the mistake of falling in love with a house only to find out you can’t afford it. A lender or mortgage broker (that’s us!) can save you from the heartache. A qualified lender or mortgage broker will get you pre-approved for a mortgage to determine what kind of house you can afford and calculate the interest rate due on the mortgage.

Save up for a down payment. You’ll need money for a down payment to get a mortgage, Ideally 20 percent of the purchase price of the home. Money is  also is needed to pay for closing costs, a year’s worth of taxes on the home, home owner’s insurance and for mortgage insurance if applicable, which protects the lender should you default on your loan.

Get your documents organized. You’ll need to show proof of your income before a bank can offer you a mortgage. Get your paperwork ready in advance. Gather copies of your recent bank statements, tax returns, and paycheck stubs. Having all the documents on hand will make the mortgage process easier.

Litchfield Bancorp is ready to make your dream of homeownership a reality. To learn more about any of our mortgage options and to find the best plan for you, give me a call at 860-393-9145 or 860-482-9707.

Jennifer Ives-Groebl

NMLS MLO# 532621

Author: Jennifer Ives-Groebl

Jennifer has been with Litchfield Bancorp since 1994 and was promoted to Assistant Vice President and Senior Mortgage Originator shortly after graduating the Connecticut School of Finance & Management in 1998. Stationed in both our Torrington and Litchfield locations, Jennifer is well known and respected in the local residential real estate community and recognized as a resource for some of the more difficult transactions. Jennifer resides in Torrington and is actively involved in the local community. She is a long time member of the Torrington/Winsted Rotary club and is currently serving as its Assistant Treasurer. Jennifer is involved with Litchfield County Board of Realtors and serves as chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Public Relations Committee. She is also a member of the Fuessenich Park Partnership; and through Education Connection, has participated in the Mentoring Program.

2 thoughts on “5 tips for getting your first mortgage”

  1. I really appreciate your tip on making sure that you have money for homeowner’s insurance and mortgage insurance when you want to buy a house. My brother has been thinking of moving out of his small apartment to make room for his growing family, and he and his wife have been saving for a long time. I will be sure to tell him that he needs to save up enough money for his insurance as well!

  2. Thanks for these tips on how to find a good mortgage. It would make sense to consider the down payment first. My husband and I are looking for a mortgage, so we’ll have to check their down payment first.

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