Buying a home these days may feel more like a sprint than a marathon. Buyers have to be ready to move fast when a home comes on the market while presenting the strongest offer possible. That can create additional stress to an already overwhelming event. While a realtor can help you in your search for a home, Ameris Bank can help prepare you for the loan process and provide tips to help strengthen your offer, so you can avoid the mad dash when you’ve found a home you love.*
Get pre-qualified for a mortgage.
Pre-qualification gives lenders, borrowers and sellers an idea of how much a person can borrow and the kind of loan terms they may qualify for. With a pre-qualification, all information regarding income, assets and down payment is provided verbally to the lender with no written documentation necessary. Getting pre-qualified strengthens your offer and may help expedite the homebuying process because sellers are more likely to accept an offer that is backed by a pre-qualification.
Keep your finances in the best possible shape.
When you apply for financing, lenders look at your debts and cash assets, such as funds available in a checking or savings account. Make sure to keep your finances in top shape by paying your bills on time and paying down debt where possible. Continue to save money for your down payment, inspection fees and closing costs. These small tasks will help maintain or improve your credit score and ensure you have plenty of funds available for moving and getting settled into your new home.
Utilize lender credits to help with closing costs.
In a competitive market with multiple offers, requesting closing cost funds from the seller could negatively affect the outcome of the offer. For those on a tight budget, utilizing lender credits to pay the closings costs could be a great option.
Lender credits allow the lender to cover a portion or all of the buyer’s closing costs the day of closing in exchange for an increase to the interest rate. While the thought of increasing the interest rate may seem counter to good financial management, rates are currently near historical lows, so a small increase in rate may have a minimal impact on your monthly payment while saving you thousands at the closing table. On average, it can take approximately 5-7 years to break even when utilizing lender credits. Your lender can calculate when the lender credit will be offset by the higher monthly payments to help you determine if a lender credit may be right for you.
If you’re ready to buy, contact an Ameris Bank mortgage banker to learn more about the homebuying process.
Reviewed July 2023
By: Marlene Sheard
Marlene is a mortgage marketing representative for Ameris Bank and previous sales and marketing president for her local Home Builders Association. She enjoys sharing her experiences for the buying, selling, and financing of homes.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
*All loans subject to credit approval.