Home ownership is a big step in the financial life of any individual or family. It provides a place of security and the possibility of economic growth. It is one of the true cornerstones of the American dream.

First-time buyers need to start by identifying their budget and their goals. How much money do they have available for down-payment and what kind of monthly payment can they comfortably afford? Are there other debts or financial priorities that need to be addressed first?

Lenders typically qualify borrowers based on their credit, collateral, and capacity. Standard FICO scores measure how well the borrower has handled the responsibility of debt. The amount of down-payment and equity show how much skin the borrower has in the game from the stand-point of collateral. Finally, bankers want to know what the borrower’s capacity to pay is based on their current income and debts.

Once a borrower has established their budget and worked with a mortgage consultant to determine their purchasing power, it is time to shop for a home! Most people opt to work with a Realtor because of the myriad of options and liability associated with the transaction. Finding the right person to work with in this regard is essential!

When a property is chosen and the funding is secured, the borrower is only days away from getting the keys to their new home. And that is where the real adventure begins…

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