Step 1: Check Your Credit
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4 Steps to Take before Applying for a Mortgage
Getting approved for a mortgage can be the most difficult part of buying a home. However, there are a number of things that a buyer can do to get themselves ready for the mortgage approval process. By tackling some issues before applying for a mortgage, a buyer can improve his or her chances of getting a mortgage and buying that dream home.
Save Money: A person who is considering the purchase of a home should cut his or her lifestyle as much as possible and begin to save cash. There are two important reasons for saving cash: for use as a down payment and to start an emergency fund. Having a large down payment will help a buyer to buy a home with a reasonable mortgage amount. A new home buyer should also budget for an emergency fund of cash for use after moving into the home. The emergency fund can then be used to make repairs or pay other costs if a problem develops. Though almost all home buyers will need to borrow money to complete a home purchase, the buying process will be greatly helped by having as much cash as possible.
Stop Using Credit: Though it may be tempting to use credit cards and other available forms of credit while saving up cash, a potential home buyer should avoid using credit as much as possible in the time leading up to applying for a mortgage and the actual home purchase. The primary reason for this is that one of the measures used to determine credit score is percentage of credit used. By stopping the use of credit and continuing to make payments on existing debt, a person will be lowering the percentage of credit that he or she is using and improving his or her credit score.
Check Credit Report: Anyone who is considering a home purchase should obtain a copy of his or her credit report before applying for a mortgage. After getting a copy of the report, he or she should carefully go over the report looking for incorrect information that may be negatively impacted his or her credit score. If problems are found, a request should be made to the reporting agency to have the inaccurate information corrected. Making corrections to a credit report can take some time, so it is important to check credit reports as early as possible before actually applying for a mortgage.
Learn About Mortgages: There are scores of different types of mortgages. From 10-year fixed rate mortgages to 5/1 ARMs, a potential home buyer needs to know what types of mortgages are available in order to choose the one that is best for his or her specific situation. Simply spending an hour or two reading about the different options available can help a buyer to get the right mortgage that can provide him or her with an affordable payment amount and result in thousands of dollars of savings over the life of the loan. Though getting a mortgage and buying a home can be a long process, completing these four steps will help a potential buyer to become ready for a successful buying experience.