Buying a Southern Maryland home is an emotional experience – you’ll experience exhilaration, thrill, and even stress. Your emotions continue when it comes time to sign the paperwork – you might feel butterflies in your stomach, even nausea. You’re making the biggest financial decision of your life, and it is perfectly normal to feel anxious about buying a home.
But don’t let uncertainty about the mortgage process keep you on the sidelines. A recent survey showed that most consumers have the wrong idea about what it takes to qualify for a mortgage. Most believe that the requirements are stricter than they actually are. When asked about crucial mortgage qualification criteria, about half of those asked provided an invalid answer or selected “do not know.”
This means that many eligible Southern Maryland home buyers are sitting out because they have misconceptions about the mortgage process or are anxious about being turned down for a loan. Follow these five suggestions to help ease your home-buying anxiety.
Learn all you can about mortgages
Mortgages have changed in recent years as investors and lenders make changes to reflect households in Southern Maryland and across America. For example, more than one adult in the household may be working and contributing to the household budget.
As a result, some mortgages allow lenders to consider income generated by other household members when they are qualifying a borrower. In addition, some Southern Maryland home owners may quality for zero down options like VA loans (guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) for service members, veterans, and surviving spouses; or U.S. Department of Agriculture loans for low- to middle-income borrowers in qualifying rural areas.
According to the Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, use of both types of loans is increasing, especially among first-time home buyers.
Talk to an expert
What’s your credit score? How can you start saving for a home?
Don’t know the answers to these questions? No problem. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sponsors various counseling agencies around the country. These agencies offer free or low-cost pre-purchase counseling to help buyers understand the terminology you’ll hear from lender and to help you understand your financial situation.
Home credit counselors work to demystify the process of buying a house. With some education, buyers know what issues they should look out for and what questions they should ask.
Look into down payment assistance
NeighborWorks America, a non-profit community development organization based in Washington, D.C., reports that 70 percent of adults in the United States don’t know about the down payment programs available for middle income home buyers in their community.
This percentage may be even higher; in most areas of the U.S., there are dozens of homeowner education options and down payment assistance programs.
Compare mortgage quotes
Research by Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) shows that only one-third of home buyers shop around for a mortgage. They usually do this at a later stage of the process, which means they may be missing out on saving money.
A mortgage transaction is an infrequent and large transaction in the financial lives of most people. Borrowers might end up not getting the best deal if they opt not to shop around. Getting a great deal lets borrowers sustain their mortgage even in the case of unexpected debt increase or an increase in expenses.
Consider long-term costs
Any home buyer knows that there are costs you can anticipate, like your home owners’ association fees or your monthly mortgage.
But unexpected costs can pop up down the road, like paying for a new roof, for example. Homeowners should set aside 3 to 5 percent of the value of their home each year for improvements and repairs. Tuck the money away, and you won’t be stressed when something goes wrong.
Hughesville MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309
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