Real Estate Talk Boston

Your First Mortgage

Learn what you need to know when shopping for a mortgage.
Written by Nicole Gates and Selene Garcia

Buying your first home can certainly be intimidating but we’ve put together a list of the first five steps you should take when shopping for a mortgage. Knowing how to shop for a mortgage will ensure you are doing business with a trustworthy mortgage professional who will educate you about your mortgage loan options.

Your First Step: Research Mortgage Programs

Decide what kind of mortgage program you prefer. You will need to consider the purpose of your purchase (i.e., simply a starter home or a home to grow into). Getting clear on the purpose of your purchase will help you determine whether you need a fixed or adjustable rate program.

A fixed rate allows you to take advantage of current rates and keep it for the duration of the loan despite market changes. Adjustable rate mortgages are great options if you are clear about how long you will keep the home. Rates for ARMs are much lower than fixed rate loans; however, after the fixed period your rate will adjust and your payment will change.


Your Second Step: Shop Rate and Fees

The most popular method to shop rates and fees is to use the Annual Percentage Rate. While this method is effective it does not offer an itemized list of all fees. If you are interested in a more comprehensive list ask for a Good Faith Estimate (GFE).

The good faith estimate is an easy-to-read document which outlines all of the fees incurred when attaining mortgage financing.


Your Third Step: Work with a Trustworthy Company

Use the internet to your advantage and read through consumer reviews – customer reviews will give you an idea of what to expect. Your research may also unveil a well-known, experienced mortgage professional that will be a good fit for you.

Some of the sites you can check include: Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Google+ and the company About Us page. Finally, ask your friends and family for recommendations!

Your Fourth Step: Healthy Credit

While there are other factors which impact your rate (down-payment and the type of property you are purchasing) your credit score has a direct impact on not only your rate but your ability to qualify for a mortgage.

Check your credit and resolve any credit challenges right away. It’s a common misconception that pulling your credit is damaging to your credit score. The truth is, if you pull your credit it has no impact on your score – no really. The following two sites will allow you to pull your credit reports for free: Credit Karma and Annual Credit Report.


Your Fifth Step: Know How Much House You Can Afford

Be realistic about what you can afford – don’t be a slave to your mortgage. There are plenty of mortgage calculators available which will help you determine the right purchase price for your budget and financial goals.

That’s it. In five easy steps you can be approved for a mortgage and well on your way to homeownership. To learn more, check out Demystifying the Mortgage Process – our FREE eBook explains the mortgage process providing you with a jargon-free, user friendly explanation of a seemingly convoluted process.

If you would like to speak with Chris Devin and our team at the Devin Group directly you can do so by clicking here.

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