THIS..... is NOT American Idol. Sorry, I couldn't resist. The minute I typed in THIS with an emphasis I can hear Ryan Seacrest. Let's try this again.

This IS the big one (better). A mortgage is huge! For some its a true sign of responsibility. Are you ready for a mortgage?  More than likely this will be the single largest financial decision you will ever make. Having a mortgage is a financial commitment. In this blog I would like to share mortgage preparation with you.

First step would be to know your credit. Know your score and view your report. Understanding your credit score and knowing ways to repair and improve your credit are important. For lenders looking into your creditworthiness they are measuring their risk of loaning to you. Let's face it, it's a gamble and your credit will tell the lender a lot. Make sure to check for accuracy on the credit report and correct any mistakes. Also know that repairing credit and building credit take time.

Second step is to do your research. Find out what types of loans are available. How much you need for a down payment (depending on the loan type). When you do find the loan that fits make sure to check if there is a prepayment penalty. Who knows you just might win the lottery.

Third step is to reap the fruits of your labor. By knowing and repairing your credit score (which therefore will help you to obtain a better interest rate and save you money) and doing your research on loans, hopefully you will end up with a payment that fits your lifestyle and budget. 

In the end being comfortable with your payment is what's most important. How much house can you afford? Your debt to income ratio is important to understand. Buying a home and making your payments is your intention. It is because of my own personal experience that I give you this advice; know yourself. Before jumping into a mortgage that stretches your budget, know the consequences. Weigh what you will be giving up versus what you gain. Will topping out your budget allow for vacation, home improvements, college, and life's surprises? Are you disciplined or more "fly by the seat of your pants?" 

As with many things in life preparation is key. Prepare yourself. Get your credit in shape, research loan types, interest rates and down payment options. 

 I end with this, be patient. This process can take some time. It is after all a big commitment to make and we'd like to help you be prepared.