The only way to truly know how much home you can afford is to ask a lender. Getting pre-approved lets you know how much you can afford before shopping for your home.
What to know
Determine Monthly Mortgage Payment Including Escrow
Escrow is a third party account used to retain funds including the property owner’s real estate taxes and hazard insurance premiums. Escrow is only applicable to certain loan programs. Your mortgage payment will be determined based on your income and credit history.
Understand Bills Associated
Estimate that it will cost about one percent of the purchase price per year to maintain your home. For a $200,000 home, you should budget approximately $2,000 per year or approximately $170 per month for maintenance. Condominiums and co-ops will have regular maintenance fees. You will also have utilities, gas, electric, water, sewage, cable, telephone, insurance, property tax, etc.
Do's & Dont's
- Don't apply for new credit of any kind.
- Do keep all existing credit card accounts open.
- Don't MAX OUT or overchargge existing credit cards.
- Do maintain your employment at your current job.
- Don't consolidate debt to one or two cards.
- Do pay off collections, judgements, or tax liens reported within one year.
- Don't make any large purchases.
- Do stay current on your existing accounts.
- Don't make any large deposits into any of your accounts.
Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need before you begin your loan application. Having all necessary documentation upfront saves time so your loan can close smoothly and quickly.
- Photo Copy of D.L or I.D.
- Copies of One (1) Month Most Recent Pay Stub.
- Business Tax Returns. (All Pages and Schedules)
- Mortgage Statement, Insurance Declaration Page, and most recent tax statement for all other properties owned.
- Copies of Two (2) Months Most Recent Bank Statements.
- Contract for Lot or Warrantydeed. (Construction Only)
- Social Security Card.
- Last Two Years W2's, Income Tax Returns. (All Pages)
- If self-employed, 1099s and copy of Business License.
- Purchase/construction Contract and Copy of Earnest Money check.
- Plans and Specifications. (Construction Only)
- Divorce Decree and Separation Agreement (If applicable).