With the slowing housing market, rising interest rates and lenders tightening the reins on their mortgage qualification requirements, it’s extremely important to get the best home loan advice with about a good interest rates.
Keep reading for four tips you can use to get the best mortgage in today’s residential real estate market.
1. Work on your credit.
If your credit score isn’t good, take the time to work on rebuilding it. Now is not the time to accept a higher rate just because you have poor credit. Spend a year or two making sure all your payments get in on time, that you stop applying for new credit and you reduce the balance on your double-digit interest credit.
Because interest rates are already rising, you can’t afford to lock in at a credit penalty rate. Remember, taking an additional year or two before purchasing a home could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan, so have patience.
2. Build a sizable down payment.
Having a strong down payment of 20% or more puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to direct negotiations with lenders. Not only will you save on private mortgage insurance (PMI) and your interest rate, you’ll also walk into your home with pre-established home equity.
You’ll have backup equity in case of a financial emergency, and you’ll have a strong financial foundation that’s not easily rocked by economic instability.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a larger down payment, try accessing 401K reserves or negotiating a loan through financing from your family.
3. Opt for the stable lender.
With fly-by-night mortgage companies closing their doors and selling their loans on the secondary market, you want a lender that’s going to give you good customer service and do so for 30 years.
Don’t make the same mistake as the countless thousands who lost their homes to foreclosure because of bad lender decisions; opt for a stable lender. Look for a financial provider whose personnel answers your questions, doesn’t try to rush you and is genuinely interested in helping you get the best loan.
If you’re stuck, ask around your neighborhood or hit family and friends for best home loan advice on their lenders. Having customer referrals from people you trust is invaluable.
4. If interest rates are too high, don’t lock-in.
While an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) means your monthly mortgage payments can still go up with inflating interest rates, you also don’t want to lock yourself into a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a bad interest rate.
Whatever you decide, remember that if you have substantial home equity and good credit, you can always renegotiate or refinance down the line if interest rates come back down.