I Need A Home Loan: Where Do I Start?
Getting started with a home loan starts with a few key steps. For more detailed info, check out our complete guide to Buying A House in Arizona. Or, read on for 4 no-brainers to start you on the path to a home loan.
Shop Around for Lenders
Shop around for competitive rates and for lenders who offer low origination fees. Origination fees average around 0.5% to 1% of the home’s purchase price. So for a $450,000 loan, this is a cost of about $2,250-$4,500. If a deal seems too good to be true, make sure you compare it with at least 2 other mortgage lenders. They can often spot some inconsistencies in a 'deal' that first-time homebuyers might miss.
See If You Qualify for Down Payment Assistance
Be aware that if you go this route, you'll be taking some budgeting courses and potentially doing extra paperwork that could add a few months to your homebuying timeline.
Adjust Term and/or Home Price Range to Fit Your Financial Goals
Look at different term options or make adjustments to your home loan price range. You might be surprised to discover what’s possible while staying within your budget. Or, you might be shocked by how rising home costs and interest rates have limited your options since you were looking a year ago...
Either way, it will help you to experiment with calculators like this one to see if shortening or extending the home loan term or adjusting home price helps you meet your goals.
Financially savvy folks tend to follow the 25% rule when making final decisions in this area– they try to keep their mortgage payment (Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance) under 25% of their monthly income.
A pre-approval or pre-qualification doesn't require as much paperwork as a full application. In some cases, a few paystubs or W2s, in addition to verification of down payment funds (like bank statements) would be enough to issue a pre-qualification for up to a maximum amount determined by the lender.
Once you find a home and continue to progress, you'll need several additional pieces of documentation - our house buying checklist: mortgage documents you'll need could be really helpful as you continue through the home loan process and closing.
We hope this answers the question 'Where do I start?' if you're looking for a home loan. It's a crazy whirlwind to buy a home, and we want to help you every step of the way!
This article is intended to be a general resource only and is not intended to be nor does it constitute legal advice. Any recommendations are based on opinion only. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change and may vary based on creditworthiness, qualifications, and collateral conditions. All loans subject to approval.