The path to homeownership can feel daunting at times. Before you make an offer to buy, take these steps to prepare your finances and start your home search with confidence.
1. Know your budget. Determine how much you can afford for a down payment and a monthly mortgage payment. (Don’t forget to consider other expenses that come with home ownership, such as routine repairs and maintenance costs.) GSB’s Personal Finance within Online Banking can help you get started.
2. Check your credit score. The higher your score, the more likely you’ll be able to get approved for a mortgage loan at a favorable interest rate. Credit Insights in the GSB mobile app can help you track and improve your score.
3. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio. Divide your total monthly bills by your monthly income to understand what percentage you’re spending on expenses each month (and how much more you can afford to take on for a mortgage payment). A general rule of thumb is not to exceed 45%.
4. Take a first-time homebuyers’ class. Consider this free online class at readynest.com.
5. Explore mortgage options. Research and compare down payment requirements, interest rates, closing costs, and other terms. (Our first-time home buyer program offers 100% financing options and reduced private mortgage insurance costs!) Use a mortgage calculator to estimate monthly payments.
6. Get pre-qualified. Meet with a mortgage lender to get pre-qualified for a loan, so you can determine your price range and start home shopping with confidence.
Our experienced mortgage team is always available to help you navigate the process and answer any questions you have. Get in touch with a mortgage lender.