Most people would say that looking online for that perfect house is your first step in finding a home, however, I am here to remind prospective buyers that finding a mortgage broker and getting pre-approved should really be the first step before anyone spends a lot of time looking around their respective market.
And why is that? Well really, the answer is simple. Your mortgage broker can tell you how much you can afford. With mortgage rates hitting an all-time low of 2.88 percent, this is a great time to purchase a home (or even refinance), however, you will still need to submit a pre-approval letter with any offer submitted on a home.
Here is a little more information about interest rates. They move with the economy and usually, the better the economy is doing, the higher the interest rates are. The Federal Reserve determines interest rates and even though the hot housing market is contributing to the economic recovery, it has not been enough for them to raise the rates just yet. Most predict that rates will get higher in the next couple of years, but in my opinion, COVID has created so many issues that I do not see them going up soon.
As far as credit scores go, you might be wondering what kind of numbers you need to purchase a home? First time homebuyers get a bit of a break and according to our friend Rosy King at First United Bank credit scores as low as 580 with a maximum loan amount of $548,250 have even been on the record. This is a gift for first-time homebuyers as a regular FHO loan requires a score of 620 and more like 680 to 700 minimum score if you are looking to secure a jumbo loan.
Bottom line, before you start looking, get yourself a quality mortgage banker. They can not only help you determine a realistic price range for browsing, but they can get you on the bath to lining up a pre-approval letter for when you start making offers on places that you would like to call home.