Checklist: How to make an informed homebuying decision

Guaranteed Rate Affinity

You’ve got your eye on a home. Next up, it’s time to shop and compare loan products and rates. If you’re still unsure what to do here, we don’t blame you. Whether it’s your first time or not, buying a home is a huge decision that isn’t always so easy. Each option could affect your bottom line differently. So it’s important to make sure you’re making an informed decision. 

Mortgage calculators are designed to help you make this decision, but our loan officers always recommend doing your research first. Ask yourself these questions before using a mortgage calculator and think more like a loan officer:

1. What type of property are you looking to purchase?

A one-size loan does not fit all, and you may need to account for the possibility that you might be in the market for something other than a single-family home. 

2. How long do you plan to own the property?

If you’re only planning on living in your home for a certain length of time because of a job transfer or growing family, an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) might be the best option for you. 

3. What is most important to you: getting the lowest rate, the lowest monthly payment, or the shortest loan term?

Other mortgage calculators might ask if you’re interested in a lower payment or a shorter term if you’re refinancing your existing home. But you have your own priorities.

4. Are you a first-time homebuyer or a veteran?

If you’re in either category—or both!—you could qualify for loan programs that aren’t available to other borrowers. Some online tools treat VA loans and first-time buyers as a separate category, which makes it much more difficult to compare mortgage products and shop around. 

Now that you have everything you need to make an informed decision, you’re ready for the next step. Make sure to talk with an experienced loan officer and get a proper estimate of your buying power before you start shopping.

Guaranteed Rate Affinity, LLC. is a private corporation organized under the laws of the State of Delaware. It has no affiliation with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the US Department of Agriculture or any other government agency.

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