Mortgage BasicsThe mortgage application process can be daunting for first-time home buyers. Knowing what to expect can help them to prepare for it. The mortgage process should begin as soon as you start looking for a home and it does not end until you take possession of your new home.

Step One: Applying and Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

In order to shop for a home, you need to know how much you can afford to spend. The mortgage pre-approval process gives you that estimate, but it also gets a lot of the legwork out of the way. You will need to bring proof of income, and other appropriate documentation when you get pre-approved for a mortgage. This is only needed once, so when you actually need to finalize your mortgage, your lender does not need to go through that part of the process again.

Step Two: Finding and Assessing the Home

Once you find the right home, there is a step in the mortgage process that must take place. Your lender must approve the mortgage and they want to ensure that the value of the home is worth their loan. This means that a property appraisal will be done. Depending on the lender, arranging it may be up to the home buyer or they may take care of it. In either case, the home buyer often has to assume the cost. Provided the home is valued as high as the bank is being asked to lend based on your offer price as a buyer, the loan should be issued.

Step Three: Closing On Your Home

If anything changes between the time you have put an offer on your home and closing, a lender can choose not to honor a loan. Substantial changes in income, major purchases and more can all be problematic if it may impact a buyer’s ability to afford the home according to lender’s requirements. Home buyers should be aware of this so they proceed cautiously with their finances before closing as nothing is final until that pen has been put to paper.