By Mike Miles
It might be bitterly cold … and about to become ‘are-you-kidding-me’ cold, but now is the best time to start preparing for the usually busy spring home buying market.
It’s expected that this spring will represent another competitive housing market. Overall it may be more balanced (between a buyer and seller’s market) but it will still be competitive. That means preparation will be important so that you can pull the trigger when you want to. Below is a short list of things to think about in your preparation.
- Check your credit – every consumer can check their own credit for free one time each year. You can do it online OR you can call a lender like Fountain Mortgage to have your credit checked for free. The advantage of having Fountain Mortgage do it is you will get a complimentary credit consultation as well. The point of this is to make sure you are aware of your score, any derogatory marks and any improvements you could make during the next couple of months.
- Make copies of your tax related documents – it’s about tax time and many of you are organizing your tax documents (W2’s, 1099’s, 1098’s … etc.). If you use an accountant or tax preparer, make or scan copies to yourself of those documents so that you don’t have to wait for them to be returned after your tax returns are prepared and filed.
- Be aware of transcripts – if you are self-employed and need to use the self-employment income for 2018 be aware that lending guidelines require tax transcripts to be produced. Tax transcripts are basically the IRS-validated copies of your filed tax return. It generally takes the IRS six to eight weeks to generate transcripts from the date you filed the return. It’s important to be aware of this waiting period. If you don’t need income from 2018 to qualify (meaning your 2017 tax year is enough to qualify), you will not be subjected to needing 2018 transcripts.
- Consider moving money around – Underwriters get nervous when applicants move large sums of money around during mortgage underwriting. If you plan to use certain accounts to fund a down payment, consider moving the funds around 60 days prior to the time you think you may apply for a loan. Underwriting look-back periods expire after 60 days.
- Don’t rely on online mortgage calculators – many listings online provide some type of calculator (probably on the sidebar of the page). These are easy to use but rarely accurate. Often the property tax amount, homeowner insurance and PMI (if applicable) estimates are off … way off. Instead, do a mortgage consultation.
- Plan ahead with Fountain – doing a pre-approval is important but don’t forget that Fountain Mortgage provides what’s called the Fountain FastTrack which is a full-blown loan underwriting process on a property you haven’t picked out yet. This is a unique offering and designed to give buyers a massive edge when competing on offers.
Just like many things in life, prior preparation can make things easier for you for when the time comes to execute. It’s very easy to put these types of things off. Doing so could mean losing the perfect home to another buyer. You’d be surprised how much can be accomplished in 30 minutes with Fountain Mortgage.
This weekly Sponsored Column is written by Mike Miles of Fountain Mortgage. Located in Prairie Village, Fountain Mortgage is dedicated to educating, and thus empowering, clients to make the best financial decision possible for their situation. Contact Fountain today.
Mike Miles NMLS ID: 265927; Fountain Mortgage NMLS: 1138268