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Thinking of Buying A Home? Get Armed & Ready for the Process

Like most buyers, you probably have more questions than answers surrounding the right balance between your dream home and the stability of your current finances. To lend a hand, we created this helpful list of tips to answer the common questions we get from customers about the all-important first steps when starting the home loan process.  

#1 Determine How Much “Home” You Can Afford
It’s hard to start any planning before you know the goal you are trying to reach. Once you have your financial statements and monthly bills organized and well managed, it’s time to calculate how much increase to your monthly housing payment you can afford (without giving up your entire lifestyle). 

Using this calculator, you can quickly see how much more you could afford to pay for housing as well as your estimated principal balances: https://www.texasgulfbank.com/home-mortgage-calculator

#2 The Rent vs. Buy Calculator
Should you rent or should you buy your next home? It takes more than just looking at your mortgage payment to answer this question. We provide a calculator on our website to help you weed through the fees, taxes, homeowners insurance and monthly payments involved in making this decision. 

View the calculator and more information here: https://www.texasgulfbank.com/home-mortgage-rent-vs-buy-calculator 

#3 Begin Saving for Your Down Payment Early
Having upfront money to put towards your mortgage is a show of good faith, telling lenders (like TGB) that you are prepared to take on the financial responsibility of homeownership. Traditionally, you should have a down payment of at least 10% of the cost of your desired home available before moving forward with the buying process. 

Use the mortgage calculator in Tip #1 to determine the impact of any principal prepayments!

#4 Monitor Your Credit & Address Issues Now
It’s no secret that the better your credit score, the better your loan options and buying power. What you may not realize is that there could be hidden items on your credit negatively impacting your score that need to be addressed.  Major credit bureaus provide one free credit report annually—to request your free report, contact them here: 
Equifax
Experian
TransUnion

Pro Tip: Experian offers this helpful list of ways to dispute issues with your credit report. Read the article HERE

Free credit freezes are here! Security freezes, or credit freezes, restrict access to your credit information, making it difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name during the critical home-buying period. As of 2018, you can freeze and unfreeze your credit file for free. Visit this page for more information: https://www.texasgulfbank.com/free-credit-freezes-are-here

#5 Make Moves Fast When the Right Home Comes Along with a Letter of Pre-Approval
Just as lenders appreciate customers with a down payment, agents like showing homes to shoppers who are already pre-approved with a financial institution. This shows dedication to the home financing process. Motivated buyers will have this ready to go, so nothing stands in the way of that dream home when it pops on the market. 

Learn more about TGB personal home loans HERE and contact us to help you get the approval process started. 

The final step is to choose whether to hire a Buyer’s Agent. If you do decide to contract an agent, look for someone who takes the time to get to know you and what’s right for your lifestyle because that person will be the one to introduce you to your new home! 

All loans Subject To Credit Approval.