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One thing we all want when buying a home is the best mortgage rate we can get. We get it. If you’re buying a house for the first time, you probably have no idea what the mortgage process looks like or how to even navigate getting the best rate you can get. Keep reading and we will walk you through how to do exactly that!

HOW MUCH HOUSE CAN YOU AFFORD

Before even getting to the mortgage step, it is imperative to know how much of a mortgage you can actually afford. The last situation you would want to be in is not having the financial means to pay it every month. The way to do this is to really look at your expenses and then get pre-approved with a lender. This will give you a sneak peek into the loan amount you could get for your future mortgage.

GET A FIXED RATE MORTGAGE OR AN ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGE?

A fixed rate mortgage is a mortgage option where the interest rate will stay the same for the life of the loan. An adjustable rate mortgage is when the interest rate changes over time. The adjustable rate option usually has low introductory fees, but that will increase after that fee ends. Make sure you do your research on the pros and cons of both options so that you make the right decisions for you!

GET OTHER OPINIONS

Don’t just get one, shop around for loans. Different mortgage lenders offer different rates, so you want to see what’s out there so that you have options. Luckily, if you apply for multiple in a certain time period, your credit will factor that you’re shopping around and it won’t effect it too much.

ELIGIBLE FOR ANY SPECIAL PROGRAMS?

Are you a first time homebuyer? Did you serve in the military? Are you a teacher? If any of these apply to you there is a special program for you so that you can get down payment assistance (or even no money down in some cases) to go towards closing on your home.

Even if you are looking at homes in a rural area, there is a special program for that too! Talk to your realtor to find out what you can qualify for so that you can save as much money as possible and get into your new home!

CLOSING COSTS AND DOWN PAYMENTS

There are so many fees that go into closing on a home (and a lot of paperwork). A part of what will determine how much your down payment and closing costs are will vary depending on if you qualified for a special program (like the ones we discussed above), your credit, if the seller is willing to cover closing costs, and much more. 

Typically they will be a certain percentage of the purchase price depending on the loan that you get. For example, an FHA loan is a popular option, especially for first time homebuyers and those with lower credit scores because it is easier to qualify for. This loan only requires 3% down. Just like everything else, make sure you do your research and get an amazing real estate agent to help you every step of the way! 

A home is the biggest purchase you’ll likely do in your lifetime. Getting the best mortgage rate will require some work and talking to multiple people, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Once you have the right realtor representing you, they will work with you to reach your mortgage goals.