1. Spooky myth: You need a 20 percent down payment to buy a home.
Truth: Not every lender requires such a large down payment from every buyer. It all depends on your financial situation, and often your credit worthiness. Buyers often pay a down payment of between 5 and 10 percent. You'll want to explore all your options.
2. Spooky myth: You’ll never qualify for a mortgage if you have any outstanding debt.
Truth: Just like there are good witches and bad witches, there’s good debt and bad debt. Excessive debt and late payments can crush a credit score, which could mean trouble when it comes to qualifying for a home loan. However, good debt that you’ve dutifully been paying off bit by bit, like school and car loans, can actually help your chances by showing that you’ve been financially responsible. Another key factor is your debt-to-income ratio.
3. Spooky myth: The mortgage amount I qualify to borrow represents what I can afford.
Truth: This is wrong. Lenders who prequalify you for a home loan are not considering all the facets of your budget, such as child care costs, groceries and utilities. They look primarily at your gross income, your debt and your credit-worthiness. It's up to you to determine your price range based on the monthly payment you can afford to absorb when you consider your take-home pay and all of your monthly expenses. The number you're comfortable with may be lower than the amount the lender has authorized. And whether or not you can afford the monthly payment on the full qualifying amount, you don't have to borrow as much as the bank is willing to lend you.
Keep Halloween scary but take the spookiness out of buying a home. I can help melt your Home Buying fears.