Mortgage Tips for First-Time Buyers


As a North Carolina real estate agent, a big part of my job is guiding individuals through the home buying process—something that goes beyond just taking them to tour houses. I like to be someone my clients can lean on throughout the process, and that includes answering any questions or uncertainties that arise about the mortgage process.

And questions about the mortgage process are not at all uncommon, especially not among first-time buyers. For those who are preparing for their first-ever mortgage, I have a few pieces of advice that I like to provide. Here’s a quick rundown.

Preparing for Your First Mortgage

Check your credit score. I’d advise all buyers to know what their credit score is, and to have that number ready to provide to the mortgage professional you end up working with. This number will give you a ballpark of how much you’ll be able to borrow—and thus, how much house you’ll be able to afford!

Run the numbers. Speaking of which, you really don’t want to get too far into the real estate journey without knowing roughly how much you can pay for a house. It’s prudent to sit down and work out the details regarding closing costs, monthly payments, and even the additional expenses that come with owning a home.

Get your documents ready. You will not believe how much documentation you have to provide to your loan underwriter. It’s just the nature of the beast, and if you gather all your documents in advance, you can expedite the process considerably. Once you connect with a mortgage professional you can get a good sense of which documents you’ll need.

Get pre-approved. It’s really simple to go through the pre-approval process with your mortgage officer, and this can really streamline the rest of your mortgage application.

Get money ready for your closing costs. Your closing costs will probably be somewhere between two and five percent of the home’s total value, and you’ll likely need to provide that money up front. (You can roll it into the mortgage itself in some cases.) Make sure you’ll have access to that money by the time closing day comes.

Find a mortgage agent you’re comfortable with. It pays to find a mortgage agent who can give you competitive rates, but also someone whose customer service skills help you feel at-ease with the process. Shop around for someone to whom you’d feel comfortable going to with pressing questions or concerns. I’m always happy to recommend great mortgage professionals to my buyers!

Move Forward in the Mortgage Process

When it’s your first time buying a house, the entire process is exciting—but it can also be a little intimidating. I want to help all my clients feel comfortable, not just with touring homes but also with applying for a mortgage.

To learn more about how the process works, or to get a recommendation for a great mortgage professional, give me a call right away. The Ryan Minges team is here to help!