Do your New Year’s resolutions involve getting into a new home? Whether you plan to make 2018 the year you stop renting, you need more room for your growing family or it’s time to downsize, planning ahead can help the process go more smoothly.

Holding out for the busy spring homebuying season? Even if you don’t intend to make a move right away, there are a few things you can do now to start getting prepared.

Review Your Financial Goals

Start thinking about what you’d be able and willing to spend on your new mortgage payment each month, taking into account your other regular expenses. Doing this early on may help you calibrate your price range expectations before you get caught up in the emotions that house hunting can bring!

Of course, getting prequalified with a lender should help solidify your expectations. However, keep in mind that your prequalification may only be valid for a limited time and full loan approval is subject to a number of factors, including your credit and income. As a result, you may want to wait until you’re ready to begin seriously looking at homes before getting prequalified.

Learn About Loan Options

Even if you’re not ready to seek approval for a mortgage loan, you might benefit from researching the various loan types available to you now, before you find yourself under pressure in a time crunch. A loan officer can provide you with this information.

Are you a first-time buyer? There may be special programs for you. Are you considering a second home, vacation home or investment property? A loan officer can help you understand the terms for loans on these properties.

Consider Your Credit

Your creditworthiness has a significant impact on your ability to get a loan and the interest rate and terms for which you may qualify. It’s a good idea to see where you stand before you begin to apply for a loan. You’re allowed one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian every 12 months.

According to TransUnion, the details on your credit report and your credit score can change constantly as the holders of your various accounts submit updates. And, because this typically occurs monthly, it can take an average of 30-45 days for changes (i.e. balance reductions, payoffs, etc.) to be reflected – another reason to plan ahead!

 Research Locations

Another step you can take now, if you haven’t already, is to determine areas in which you’d like to live. Among other things, the location of your new home can have an effect on your daily life and future resale potential. Your lifestyle, safety, proximity to schools, general accessibility and overall desirability are some factors to consider.

Selling? Get Your Home Market-Ready

If this isn’t your first homebuying experience and you have an existing property to sell, you might want to think about getting it in shape before you list it. Try to view your home through a buyer’s eyes. Do you need to make some repairs? Are there simple ways to add value? You might also consider staging your home so that it presents – and photographs – in a flattering way. A real estate agent who knows your area may be able to make some suggestions to help you get started. Depending on your current real estate market environment, these preparations could make all the difference in getting the most out of your home.

Ready to explore financing options or start your application? Contact a Castle & Cooke Mortgage Loan Officer today!

Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC® (NMLS #1251) is a leading independent mortgage lender headquartered in Draper, Utah, with locations across the United States.

Restrictions may apply. Not all who apply will qualify. Program qualifications & offerings are subject to change at any time. Equal Housing Lender. Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is licensed in AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KY, MD, MI, MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI and WY. Licensed by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, Arizona Mortgage Banker: BK-0908287. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight, under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act License #4130740. Regulated by the Colorado Division of Real Estate. Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #43759. Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee. Licensed by the Mississippi Department of Banker and Consumer Finance. Ohio Mortgage Loan Act Certificate of Registration #SM.502008.000. Oregon Mortgage Lending License #ML-4090. Washington #CL-1251.


Information contained in this Blog does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice or services and should not be used as a substitute for professional advice. The purpose of the Blog is to provide Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC’s opinions and general guidance on certain matters related to mortgages. The reader accepts full responsibility for use of the information contained herein.