Mortgage Lending Do's & Don'ts for First Time Home Buyers

young family with new house keys

Buying a new home (especially for the first time) is a big decision, which can inspire a range of feelings and experiences. You can feel liberated and excited one minute, then confused or frustrated the next. All perfectly normal and expected—a house purchase is a major investment that should not be taken lightly.

When making the leap into home ownership, here are a few helpful Do’s and Don’ts to consider:

DO Find a Lender You Like Working With

Buying your home is ultimately a financial transaction, albeit an emotional one. You will have questions, so a lender who is able to help you through the process is important. A first-time home buyer means there’s an even steeper learning curve. To help make a stressful process a little easier, we recommend working with a lender you like and trust. Someone you feel comfortable with so you don’t hesitate to ask those important (and inevitable) questions. On the flip side, selecting an experienced lender can be your advocate to spot potential issues or red flags.

DON’T Be Afraid To Search For Your Lender

Making the mortgage commitment is big, so it’s important to do your own research. You have the right to shop with as many lenders as you’d like. Credit bureaus encourage borrowers to look at their rate options, so they have a formal policy to allow for this without making any impact to your credit. There is a defined time frame, so all your mortgage lending inquiries or applications need to be managed accordingly. Your credit pulls must happen within a limited, 14-day window. If you need help, connect with one of our Loan Officers to manage this.

DO Know Your Personal Goals

Part of house hunting is being realistic with your long-term goals. When determining the price range for home shopping, the question is not how much you can afford. Instead ask yourself what you want to spend on your house payments. Make sure the overall goals you have for yourself and your family are considered.

DON’T Count On Online Calculators

There are many different sites and tools that provide projected house payments, which can be helpful as a starting point. But do not use this in place of an accurate calculation. Rates could be incorrect, or the best type of mortgage loan for you is not integrated in the calculator. A Loan Officer can help guide you through what the best type of loan structure based on your unique needs and circumstances. This could include options for down payments—especially for first time home buyers.

DO Be Accurate in Your Pre-Approval Application

Filling out an application with correct information is important, as this will directly impact how your mortgage loan is structured. The more details you provide—even if it feels tedious or premature to share—your lender can gain a more complete picture of your situation. There are loan variants, grant programs and other opportunities that an experienced lender can bring into the mix when equipped with an accurate assessment that comes from your application.

DON’T Sabotage Your Loan Efforts

During the process of securing your new home, your Loan Officer will help you navigate the various steps and phases. When you are waiting for the entire process to complete, it is important for your credit profile to stay the same. In other words, don’t make any large swings of purchases or deposits. Try to keep the same employer, same account balances (minus paying your monthly bills of course) and avoid seeking additional lines of credit. Any changes could inadvertently hinder getting your mortgage closed.

Check out our 8 Common Steps When Buying A Home webpage for additional information about the home purchase process. Do you need help with your home mortgage or want to learn more about Fidelity Bank?


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