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Honest to Goodness: So you think you can buy a home?

Or maybe you have no earthly idea. The truth of the matter is, there are a lot of people who think they can afford to buy home and can’t. And others who think they can’t afford to buy a home and actually can.  So how do you know where you stand?

Well, to provide some insight, Real Smarts asked our own mortgage maven, Don Frost, Senior Vice President and Director of Residential Lending at Avidia. In his 23 years of mortgage lending, Don has seen pretty much everything and has agreed to share a few mortgage pointers.

Real Smarts: “Don what are the most important things you need to qualify for a mortgage?”

Don: “The most important thing is to start with a monthly payment that is comfortable and affordable and from there, determine how much of a home and mortgage you may qualify for.”

Real Smarts: “If someone is not ready to buy a home, what can they do to put themselves in a better position?”

Don: “Keep debts to a minimum, be certain to always make monthly payments on time to create a solid credit history, and save as much money as possible for the down payment and closing costs.”

Real Smarts: “Not to be a Debby Downer, but what shouldn’t they do?”

Don:Don’t do anything that will harm your credit and/or your ability to be approved.  Keep a good record of your funds and try not to move cash around too often between various bank accounts.  Carefully consider any job changes and think about how it will affect you in terms of being approved.  For example, moving from a salaried position to a commission position may be attractive, but it will cause difficulty in getting approved for the mortgage.”

Real Smarts: “If they are ready, what should they do?”

Don: “The best first step is to get pre-approved by an expert so you know exactly how much you can qualify for before you shop for a home.”

There you have it. Real, honest advice from a real expert. If you have a real mortgage question for Don, send it in via social media.