Home-buying can be expensive and finding the best loan for you can be essential. The cost of buying property has gone up in the past couple of years, going from a median price of $143,00 in 2015 to $155,00 in 2017. There are numerous aspects of getting a loan that’s best for you, but the best possible thing you can do to help yourself is to prepare in advance.

Many people don’t consider they’re home-buying finances until they begin looking for a new home. Unfortunately, by that time it isn’t much you can do to significantly change the outcome of your mortgage approval.

However, by being properly prepared, you can get a better rate on your mortgage and can put the excitement back into home-buying.

  1. Credit Score: Two words that when said together can nauseate a person. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though. Making improvements to your credit score now will significantly help with loan opportunities later. Lenders will associate a higher credit score with less risk and will be more willing to approve a better loan.
  2. Keep Your Job: This may sound foolish, but presenting the bank with a history of employment can be another way to show that you’re a smart investment. Bring an employment record that shows you’ve been working for at least two consecutive years, even if it is not with your current employer when you talk with an originator. Even if you don’t have two years of employment history it is still wise to talk to a mortgage loan originator so they can tell you about other options. 
  3. Make the biggest down payment you can: Even though this is a little ironic since the entire point of this article is to save you money, spending more at the beginning can save you in the long run. Typical down payments are around 10%, there is a benefit to having 20% down to avoid mortgage insurance, however, it is always a better idea to buy (even without the 20% down) rather than rent because you can get 20% in home equity sooner with only one house payment!
  4. Consider 15: The traditional 30-year repayment period tends to be the most common choice for homeowners, but may not be the best option for you. By choosing to pay over a 15-year span, you can save on your interest payments which can add up to a hefty number. Although, choosing this option will increase your monthly premiums.

If you’re looking around at types of mortgages and loans to try to get the best deal possible, talk with an MLO to see what options they have available. Many MLOs provide different types of home loans, such as FHA loans and VA loans.