With prices of homes at their lowest in many years, this maybe the best time to buy a home but tougher rules make it more difficult to get financing. If you are looking to buy a home, here are some tips to better prepare yourself.
Set realistic expectations. Prices have gone down significantly and there are still downward pressure on prices, so be realistic on what you can afford. There is almost no 100% financing today. Be prepared to put down a minimum of 5% of the purchase price plus any closing costs.
Income documentation. Make sure you are able to document your assests and income along with the last 2 years of your income tax returns. 'Stated income' loans may be a thing of the past.
Get professional help. Talk to a real estate professional who can guide you through your search for your home. This may include calculating what you can afford and accessing the residential real estate multiple listing in your area.
Get pre-qualified before your search. If you are serious about a home purchase, getting pre-qualified for a mortgage loan tells the seller that you are a serious buyer and will less likely have a problem with securing a mortgage. Consult with a mortgage broker. In some cases, mortgage brokers are also real estate agents who may be able to represent you with you home purchase.