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Tips for mortgage loans

Lizi Lewis

With spring fast approaching, now is a good time to buy a home, refinance an existing mortgage or sell a home. It just takes a little prior planning and thought process. Today’s market is full of millennials who don’t know if they qualify for a loan or simply have decided that they don’t want to buy. But that hasn’t stopped the market from continuing to tighten over the last five years.

Lizi Lewis, loan officer with CBM Mortgage in Winchester, shares some helpful tips for making the most of a mortgage loan in 2018.

“The first thing we tell people is don’t sell yourself short,” Lewis said. “But be honest and be realistic.”

PREAPPROVED

 “Knowing how much home you can afford is the most important step,” Lewis said.

For some, answering questions about income may be difficult. For those homebuyers looking for a little bit more of a financial cushion, Lewis suggests looking for a home under the pre-approved amount of the loan

“We like when people are open to new ideas,” she said. “Like paying off any judgments or loans and are honest about any late payments.”

Lewis also likes when people come prepared with 30 days of pay stubs, 60 days of bank statements, identification and two years of expenses. She said it helps guide the process along more smoothly if they have everything up front.

RECEIVE LETTER AND DELIVER

After being pre-approved, the buyer will receive a commitment letter stating that the mortgage lender believes the buyer is a good credit risk. The letter will state the loan term and terms of the mortgage agreement. It also includes the annual percentage rate and the monthly costs to repay the loan. Any loan conditions will also be included.

“Once the individual has received their commitment letter, they take it to their Realtor,” Lewis said. “A lot of buyers don’t understand the importance of getting pre-approved before they start looking. It can save a lot of headaches and wasted time for both the customer and agent.”

FINDING A HOME

Of course, finding the perfect home is the most exciting part. Buyers should think about purchasing a home within their budget, the location and any necessary home improvements that might be needed.

“As a mortgage lender, I want to help people find their dream homes,” Lewis said. “”But knowing how much you can afford is essential when you begin. After all, buying a home is such an exciting time!”

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