1. Credit check: Make sure to get a copy of your credit report, this is a snapsht of your financial life. You can obtain a copy of your credit report by going to the following website, www.quifax.com, this is just one of many websites offering this service. The higher the credit score the more likely you will be able to borrow larger amounts of money at lower interest rates. If you feel that your credit score is quite low make sure to check for any errors as this is a common occurance. If you spotted errors contact the credit bureau immediately.
2. Do the math: The credit report lets you know how much you owe, now figure out how much you own. Add up all of your assets; investments, stocks, bonds, the value of your current home, and if you have any other properties. There are many online tools that will help you add your assets and will also give you an estimate of the amount of mortgage that you qualify for.
3. Prequalify: Set up an appointment to meet with your bank or lender to discuss your mortgage application. The lender will be able to give you more insight on your assets and liabilities and may even point out things you have missed to add, lastly they will give you an esitmate of how much you can borrow in order to buy a home,
4. Choose a lender: Buying a home will be one of the biggest financial decisions you will have to make in your life that's why it pays to talk to a few lenders to see who has the best offer. Just becasue you have all of your finances at one bank does not mean that you can't pick another to obtain mortgage financing, see wha't out there and make an informed decision.
5. Pre-approval: The pre-approavl is similar to pre-qualifying where a specific amount for the mortgage will be provided, locked into an interest rate for a set period of time. You are ready to ask for a pre-approavl only once you have decided upon your lender.