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90 Days to Homeowner – Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of the 90 Day to Homeowner Challenge! If homeownership is at the top of your to-dos, getting pre-approved is one of the first, and most important, steps.  While prospective lenders will have plenty of questions for you, don’t be afraid to find the right lender and loan by asking a host of questions all your own.  Here are a few to get you started: What type of loan do you recommend for me? Why? There’s no one type of mortgage loan that’s superior to another—but whichever you choose, you need to know why it’s best and how it works. Will my down payment vary based on the loan I choose? If you’re tight on cash or don’t want to be cash poor, let your lender know. Different loans vary in their down payment requirements.  What is the interest rate and the annual percentage rate (APR)? Everyone talks about the interest rate, but the APR is just as important. It combines the interest rate with the fees a lender charges to originate your loan. Can I lock-in an interest rate? If so, for how long? If you think rates will be moving up, ask if you can lock it in for a set period of time.  What will my closing costs be? Are they a part of my loan or will I pay them in cash at closing? Remember, closing costs usually run 3-6% of your loan value so you need to know how they’ll be covered. Don’t understand something your lender says? Stop and ask for clarification. This is your home buying journey and you deserve to understand the process every step of the way.  Keep in mind that since a pre-approval is only valid for 30-90 days depending on the lender, you’ll want to wait to meet with lenders until you’re ready to seriously search for a home. Have you talked to a lender about getting pre-approved for a loan? We’d love to help you get the ball rolling on this with our list of recommended lenders. Let us know if we can help!