There’s something special about having a home to call your own…

From the time you begin your hunt to the moment you put keys into the door of your new home, there’s a range of experiences and emotions, which is completely normal. But it’s not always positive – especially when anticipation causes anxiety that prevents us from taking the first steps.

To be clear, anxiety can be part of the normal spectrum. Purchasing a home can be a scary experience. Especially for those who haven’t gone through the process before. When we buy a house for the first time, there is a lot of new. New paperwork, new regulations, new bills, etc.

That alone can be overwhelming. But it’s also incredibly rewarding.

Unfortunately, many renters don’t make it that far…

According to this survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors in the fourth quarter of 2015, 53% of renters believe that they can’t afford to buy. Even worse…

”…51 percent have not tried recently and don’t feel confident they could obtain a mortgage.”

This suggests a lack of confidence from would-be homeowners where financing is concerned, and part of the job as real estate professionals is to help our clients navigate the path to homeownership.

You may have seen this infographic that we posted on social media a while ago, but if that doesn’t completely settle your fears, we’ve got more tips and resources coming…

Take Care of Your Credit Score

There is a lot of information out there on how to care for your credit score – and with good reason. If your credit is out of order, that closes the vast majority of funding opportunities to you. And since most people don’t have a few hundred thousand dollars on hand, they typically need some form of financing.

In this article on the AOL Real Estate Blog, they outline five key considerations to boosting your credit in order to get a home loan.

Step three, “Consider Another Way to Boost Your Score,” is of particular note. As informational resources go, one often finds the same tactics and strategies everywhere, but this tidbit is a little more unconventional…

Consider Teaming Up

Having someone add you as an authorized user on their account can give you a fast bump in credibility. This tactic can be effective, but it’s not without risk. With both of you on the account, you’re both responsible – and at risk for the account. Choose wisely.

Beware the Stink of Cheese

According to Forbes, a lending institution can provide a pre-approval letter without fully vetting the profile in question. That can leave both sides frustrated, and it’s called Swiss cheese.

“If your lender then declines your loan application and the appraisal value is adequate, you could potentially lose not only the home but also your deposit money.”

In order to avoid this sort of debacle, choose your lender wisely. Many Realtors have preferred lenders with whom they have close, trusted relationships. And that leads us to our next point…

Meet with the Loan Officer

Meeting with your loan officer can be a great way to gain some confidence in the process. If it seems like they’re being thorough and taking an interest in dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s, that can be an indicator that your file isn’t missing crucial information that could lead to disappointment later.

Additional Reading:

This article from The Motley Fool is an all-around good resource on the topic.

A Bit o’ Trivia…

Mort? Doesn’t that Mean Death?
The word Mortgage comes from Old French mort + gage, literally meaning death pledge. Ok, perhaps that isn’t going to ease any fears…

The good news is that research on the etymology of mortgage is less frightening – even if semi-complicated.

The exact intent of the original words is unclear, wrote an informative article on this exact topic.

Cliff Notes Version: Nobody dies.
Language is complicated, but ultimately the property is secured by a ”death pledge” and to whoever it transfers away from, the property becomes dead e.g., if the debt is paid, the land becomes dead to the original owner – if not, it becomes dead to the person who took out the mortgage.