Get Organized

You should be in this section because you have been inspired to buy real estate. So, the prospect of looking at property is now becoming even more exciting. So, before we waste any time, energy and dollars let's look at some additional points that should help us not become disappointed or frustrated with the process.

Start an SP Purple File: Let Signature Properties (SP) help you create an SP Purple File. This file should contain all of your important financial documents. Regardless of the loan type, lenders will need information about you. Make copies of financial statements; bank accounts, investments, credit cards, auto loans, recent pay stubs and two years' of tax returns.

Check Your Credit Rating: Credit scores range between 400 and 800. 620 + is considered "good". 680 + is considered "premium" and may possibly help get you a lower interest rate. Below you will find the contact information for the three (3) major credit reporting agencies to help you determine your credit rating. Ask your lender how to improve your credit score if it is not where you would like it to be. Then, going forward, treat your credit like gold.


Firm  
Web Site
Phone Number
Equifax
(800) 685-1111
Experian
(800) 392-1122
Trans Union
(800) 888-4213

Get Pre-Approved by a Lender. There are several benefits to going the extra mile and getting a pre-approval letter rather than just pre-qualified. First of all, you will know exactly how much real estate you can afford. When you find a property you want to buy, your offer will be better positioned than someone less prepared. Finally, being pre-approved is more efficient; it reduces the amount of time it will take your lender to fund your loan. Be prepared to provide comprehensive documentation, which the lender may independently verify, including but not limited to:

- Job status
- Income
- Monthly payments
- Cash position
- Total assets and liabilities

Credit Behavior: When you are considering the purchase of a major ticket item like a new home which you are going to want to finance, it is not a good time to change careers, move your money around, or buy other big ticket items. Lenders like stability. So if you are considering any major changes, it pays to meet with a lender and ask them how to proceed before you make any changes! If you are tempted to buy a big ticket item, consider the following:

A debt payment of $500 a month such as a credit card or auto loan debt could lower the amount of a home you could afford by about $83,000! *

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* Based on a 30 year mortgage at 6% interest.


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