Are you frightened of buying a home? Regardless of if the home you’re looking to purchase is haunted (which may actually add value to it) or not, buying a home can be a scary situation. But it doesn’t have to be!

This may sound simple, but the way to take the fear out of the search for a home is to start with the basics when it comes to your finances. To begin, look at how much you pay in rent and what you think you can afford to pay each month. If you’re not sure, start keeping careful tabs on your finances to see where your money is going. At the same time, think about how much you can afford to put as a down payment. Some people put 20 percent down or more, but other loans require as little as 3.5 percent. It really does vary, which is why you should consider speaking with a mortgage specialist who can help you understand your options.

Also, always keep in mind that homeownership should be looked at as an investment over time. You may wind up paying more than you currently do in rent, but renting won’t allow you to build equity in your home and you won’t be able to receive any of the tax incentives that can also come from home ownership.

After you’ve estimated how much you think you can afford, use our free mortgage calculator. The calculator can give you a better, but still loose, estimate of what you can expect to pay or adjustments you should make as you begin your search. There are other factors that go into what you can afford in a mortgage, but this is another good step for you to take in the home ownership journey.

After you’ve developed your own personal estimate of what you think you can pay, you really should consider meeting with a mortgage loan originator for a no obligation pre-qualification. These aren’t mandatory, but they are a good idea because the loan originator is an expert and will be able to explain your options better in person than any generic website online can do for you. Again, there is no obligation here and a pre-qualification does not require a credit check or any sort of fee. You can search our list of loan originators here or contact us online.

Once you’ve spoken with a mortgage loan originator and tax expert, things should get a lot less scary and you can start searching around neighborhoods to get an idea of what you can afford. Before you get too deep into the process though, you’ll want to get a pre-approval and make sure all of your documents are in order.

But what if you can’t afford your dream home?

Assuming you’re not a multi-millionaire, the perfect dream home may be a little out of your budget. This happens a lot, but you shouldn’t get spooked!

‘Fixer-upper’ mortgages, also known as renovation mortgages are great ways to turn pre-owned homes, from rundown foreclosures to those that are just a little out of date, into dream homes. Renovation lending can be used for everything from necessary roof repairs to kitchen remodeling and the installation of a swimming pool. An experienced mortgage loan originator can explain in person the different types of renovation mortgages and how each one can be used.

There may be ghosts and goblins on the prowl this Halloween, but you won’t find any at HomeBridge. For the last 25 years it’s been our goal to take the fear out of the home buying process and make it as easy as possible for people across the country. Even if you’re not looking to buy a home in the next few months, the sooner you start, the less intimidating the process will be.

Interested in speaking with one of our mortgage experts to find out more? Click here to select an office near you and contact one of our associates for a consultation.

A consultation is always free, does not require a credit check, and there is never any obligation to work with HomeBridge later on, even if you do decide to purchase a home.

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We recognize this is a difficult time for many people. Click here or call 866-913-2951 for more information and to learn about current options available to our borrowers.