ASSESSING YOUR BUYING POWER

Phase 2 is about the mortgage process and what you need to do to get ready for it, including pre-approval. 

Why do this now? Because you should understand mortgage basics before you start shopping for one. Also, knowing exactly how much money your lender will be able to lend you before you start house-hunting will save you a lot of heartbreak down the line. 

  1. What Can You Afford
  2. Get Your Credit Score
  3. Mortgages 101
  4. Types of Mortgages
  5. Calculating Down Payment
  6. Lenders 101
  7. Compare Potential Lenders
  8. Pre-Approval 101
  9. Get Pre-Approved

Once, you have gone through the interactive online guide in Phase 2 on Doorsteps, it's time to learn about loan programs in the Virginia, Maryland & DC area. 

To learn about the real estate financing options for homebuyers - click here 

To learn about credit - click here

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Already Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved - You should ask your lender the following questions:

  • What does this loan cost beyond principal and interest associated with the home itself?
  • If interest rates drop significantly, how would I refinance this loan and what are the costs? (For Fixed Rate Mortgages.)
  • How long does the initial interest rate last and how often is it adjusted thereafter? (For Adjustable and Hybrid Mortgages.)
  • Could I still afford the monthly payment if interest rates were to rise significantly? (For Adjustable and Hybrid Mortgages.)
  • To what index is the interest rate tied? (For Adjustable, Hybrid, and Interest-Only Mortgages.)
  • What is the mortgage margin and is it negotiable? (For Adjustable and Hybrid Mortgages.)
  • Given my overall financial situation, does this seem like an appropriate loan type for me? (For Interest-Only Mortgages.)
  • Can you walk me through the outcomes of making minimum payments vs. larger monthly payments over time? (For Interest-Only Mortgages.)
  • What fees or conditions might be associated with allowing a future buy of my home to “assume” this loan? (For FHA and VA Mortgages.)
  • How much is the funding fee, and can I get it reduced if I increase my down payment? (For VA Mortgages.)