Before you even begin your home search,
keep in mind that there are laws to protect
you from scams, unnecessary expenses and
discrimination in the process of buying a
new home. The Fair Housing Act makes it
illegal to discriminate in the sale, rental and
financing of dwellings, and in other hous-ing-related transactions based on race, color,
national origin, religion, sex, handicap
(disability) or familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents
or legal custodians, pregnant women and
people securing custody of children under
the age of 18).
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
(RESPA) makes it illegal for anyone to pay or
receive a fee, kickback or anything of value
because they agree to refer settlement service
business to a particular person or organization. Your mortgage lender is forbidden from
paying your real estate broker $250 for referring you to the lender, for example.
Save yourself trouble by taking the time to
figure out the mortgage you can afford and
then get pre-approved. Keep in mind that you
must consider current loan interest rates.
Generally, the lower the interest rate, the more
expensive a home you can afford to purchase.
Also keep in mind that you don’t have to take
out the highest loan that you qualify for.
For a general estimate of what type of home
HIRE SOMEONE TO HELP
you can afford by going to www.ginniemae.
gov. You’ll be asked to answer a few ques-
tions and then the calculator will provide
a general estimate of the maximum sale
price you may qualify for under the Federal
Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans
Association (VA) and conventional loans.
This tool also estimates your down payment,
closing costs, total cash required at closing,
monthly mortgage payment, other monthly
housing costs and your remaining monthly
income. Keep in mind that these are only
estimates. See a lender for more details.
The details involved in buying a home,
particularly the financial ones, can be
mindboggling. The entire process can be
made easier by finding a good real estate
professional who can guide you through
the entire process.
Choose a real estate broker who is well
acquainted with your needs and wants for
APPLYING FOR A MORTGAGE
You can save time if you have the following items with you when you visit your lender.
Depending on your lender, you may be asked for other information.
Social Security numbers for both you and your
spouse, if both of you are applying for the loan.
Copies of your checking and savings account
statements for the past six months.
Evidence of any other assets such as bonds,
stocks, investment or retirement accounts.
A recent paycheck stub detailing your and your
A list of all credit card accounts and the
approximate monthly amounts owed.
A list of account numbers and balances due on
outstanding loans, such as cars.
Copies of your last two years of income tax
The name and address of someone who can
verify your employment.
“Save yourself trouble by taking the time to figure out the mortgage you
can afford and then get pre-approved.
Keep in mind that you must consider
current loan interest rates.”
What You Need To Know