Sandra Tessier - RE/MAX Property Spec. Grp. Inc.


Credit plays an important role in your ability to secure a home loan and to qualify for a low-interest mortgage. However, many first-time homebuyers aren’t aren’t sure about the exact relationship between credit scores and mortgages.

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering the many factors that go into your credit score and into your lender’s decision to approve you for a mortgage. So, in this article, we’re going to cover three commonly asked questions that homebuyers have about credit scores and how they’re used by mortgage lenders to determine your eligibility for a home loan.

Will my credit score go down if I check my credit report?

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the near future, one of the first things you’ll want to do is check your credit. However, if you’ve heard that some credit inquiries briefly lower your credit score you might be hesitant to find out.


This common misconception stems from the fact that taking out new lines of credit results in a temporary decrease in your credit score. The difference between checking your credit and a credit inquiry is simple: a credit check you can access for free online through a service like Credit Karma, whereas a credit inquiry is performed by a lender or creditor with whom you’ve applied for credit.

In short, checking your credit score online won’t affect your score. In fact, the major credit bureaus are required to allow you to check your credit for free once per year.

Can I get a loan with low credit?

Increasing your credit score is a lengthy process that requires careful financial management. Many people who have had difficulties paying off bills, loans, and credit cards will have to rebuild their credit. Or, if you’re young and don’t have a diverse history of credit payments, you’ll be starting from scratch to build your score.

If you’re hoping to get an FHA (first-time homeowner loan), the lowest your score can be is 580. However, that doesn’t mean you should always take a loan with a low credit score. When you don’t have a good credit history, lenders will seek other ways to guarantees their investment. This comes in the form of higher interest rates or PMI (private mortgage insurance) which you’ll have to pay on top of your monthly home insurance and mortgage payments.

Will applying for a home loan affect my credit?

Simply stated, yes. However, applying for a loan or get preapproved is considered a credit inquiry and won’t leave any lasting negative on your credit score. Making several inquiries within a short period of time, however, can significantly lower your score, so choose your inquiries wisely. And, be sure to monitor your credit score on a monthly basis so you have an idea of where you stand along the road to applying for a home loan.


For homebuyers who want to do everything possible to discover their dream residences, it generally is a good idea to attend open houses. These events make it simple to analyze residences and determine whether they match or surpass your expectations.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to attend an open house, and these include:

1. You can get a first-hand look at a home.

A home listing often provides a great starting point for homebuyers. However, a listing alone fails to empower buyers with the information that they need to fully analyze a house.

By attending an open house, you can get an up-close look at a residence. An open house allows you to walk around a home and view each section of a residence at your convenience. Plus, an open house usually is stress-free, and if you don't like a residence after the event, you can simply continue your search for your dream home.

2. You can receive comprehensive home insights.

During an open house, you can gain home insights that you may struggle to obtain in a home listing. Therefore, homebuyers may want to prepare a list of questions before they attend an open house to ensure they can obtain deep insights into a home's condition.

Moreover, an open house may help you determine whether there is substantial or minimal interest in a residence. If an open house is attended by dozens of potential buyers, you may need to act quickly to submit an offer to secure this residence. Comparatively, if you are the only person to attend an open house, you may be better equipped than ever before to negotiate a home's price with a seller.

3. You can envision what life might be like if you purchase a residence.

When it comes to deciding whether a home is right for you, attending an open house is paramount. In fact, an open house enables you to envision what life may be like if you purchase a residence. And if you feel comfortable with a home after you attend an open house, you can always submit an offer to help transform your homeownership dream into a reality.

If you plan to attend open houses in the foreseeable future, there is no reason to attend these events alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you prepare for open houses and ensure you can discover your dream residence.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who can teach you everything you need to know about buying a home. This housing market professional first will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy. Then, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about open houses, offer homebuying insights and do everything possible to help you find a home that you can enjoy for years to come.

Reach out to a real estate agent today. By doing so, you can start attending open houses and boost the likelihood of a successful homebuying experience.


For those who want to conduct a successful home search, it is important to plan ahead as much as you can. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to get ready to pursue your dream home and speed up your house search.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you reduce the time it takes to discover your dream house.

1. Craft Homebuying Criteria

Homebuying criteria allows you to narrow your house search. Thus, if you make a list of home must-haves and wants today, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline your quest to find your dream residence.

You also should consider where you want to reside. Because if you can hone your home search to your preferred cities and towns, you should have no trouble discovering your ideal residence in no time at all.

2. Prepare a Budget

A homebuying budget is essential, especially for a buyer who wants to accelerate the property buying journey. Thankfully, banks and credit unions are available that can help you put together a property buying budget.

Set up meetings with banks and credit unions in your city or town. Then, you can review a wide range of mortgage options and receive expert responses to your home financing concerns and questions.

It often helps to consider costs you may encounter during the homebuying journey too. From house closing costs to home inspection fees, you'll need to be able to cover various expenses as you try to acquire your dream residence. But if you start planning for assorted homebuying costs today, you can ensure that you'll have the funds available to cover these expenses.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to discover your dream home as quickly as possible, there is no need to worry. Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals will do whatever it takes to help you accelerate your home search.

A real estate agent is a homebuying professional who is happy to assist you in any way possible. He or she will craft a personalized homebuying strategy for you and help you narrow your house search. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings, help you weigh the pros and cons of different houses and ensure you can submit a competitive offer to purchase your dream residence.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will offer before you finalize your home purchase, either. A real estate agent can provide plenty of recommendations and suggestions to help you prepare for your home closing. Furthermore, he or she will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you minimize stress in the days leading up to your house closing.

Ready to acquire your ideal house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a fast, worry-free homebuying experience.


One of the most famous books around, with over 18 million copies in print, and that holds the title as the longest running "New York Times" bestseller ever, is What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Now in its fifth edition, this pregnancy bible walks parents through what to expect during the nine months leading up to and including delivery.

Buying a home is nearly as momentous as having a baby, and yet, most potential buyers don’t really know what to expect when closing on their home purchase. In fact, knowing what to expect is even more urgent because closing happens in a much shorter time-frame, in as little as 12 days in some cases.

So, what should you expect?

The one part those home-buying reality shows leave out is the closing. So, to many buyers, it remains a mystery until they're in the middle of it. Even real estate professionals get nervous about closing. It's the moment where anything can go wrong, and everything can go right! It begins with mountains of papers to sign and ends with a handful of keys in exchange for a lot of money. So just what is closing and what should you expect?

“Closing” is short for closing the deal or completing the transaction. During closing several significant things happen: Title of your home transfers from the seller to the buyer; the proceeds of the sale (everything remaining after any seller’s fees are paid) distribute to the seller; and if financing the home, the buyer signs the mortgage note, pays fees, insurances, taxes, and real estate commissions. A lot of things happen at closing, so give yourself plenty of time to understand each aspect of the process if it’s your first time around.

At the time of closing, your agent and your loan officer will inform you about what you need to bring to the meeting. Bring identification, so have your driver’s license or passport on hand. You’ll need a cashier’s check for your down payment and the closing costs that appear on your HUD-1 Settlement Statement. This three-page document outlines exactly what your obligations are at closing and in the future. In addition, small items crop up at closing that might need additional funds (furniture you requested the seller leave behind, extra propane or heating oil you're buying directly from the seller) and last-minute requests. 

You'll be signing lots of papers. These legal documents obligate you for many years to come, so make sure you understand them. Also, make certain your name is spelled correctly on every page and every addendum. If you're purchasing with a partner or spouse, make sure the legal designation is as you want it. Changing it later may be difficult.

Recognize that while you may have a close estimate of closing costs, you will not know the exact amount until the day of closing, so round up a bit and have extra funds on hand. Sometimes you can swing a deal for the seller to pay all closing costs, but you’ll still be liable for pro-rated taxes, association dues, insurance, and other buyer obligations.

Don't be surprised by fees. Ask your agent to go over all the charges with you so that you know which ones you pay for and which ones the seller pays for.


A homebuyer must stay focused throughout the property buying journey. Otherwise, a buyer risks missing out on an opportunity to acquire the right house at the right price.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you stay on course during the homebuying journey.

1. Craft a Homebuying Strategy

Creating a homebuying strategy enables you to outline the steps that you'll need to take to make your homeownership dream come true. Plus, with a homebuying plan in place, you'll be better equipped than ever before to streamline your house search.

Think about where you want to live and what you want to find in your ideal residence. Then, you can make a checklist of home must-haves and wants. And once you develop this list, you can enter the housing market with a plan in hand.

2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing

Home financing plays an important role in a buyer's ability to acquire a residence. If you ignore home financing as you move along the homebuying journey, you may struggle to get the finances you need to purchase your dream house.

Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you won't have to worry about home financing as you move along the property buying journey. To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. That way, you can learn about all of your mortgage options and select a mortgage that matches your finances.

As you review your mortgage options, don't hesitate to ask questions. Banks and credit unions employ home financing specialists who can remove the guesswork commonly associated with getting a mortgage. These specialists are happy to respond to your mortgage concerns and questions and ensure that you can make an informed home financing decision.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to staying focused during the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer plenty of assistance throughout the property buying journey. And by doing so, a real estate agent will ensure that you can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey and achieve your desired results faster than ever before.

A real estate agent understands the challenges that buyers frequently encounter when they pursue houses and can help you plan accordingly. Furthermore, a real estate agent will guide you along each stage of the homebuying journey and do everything possible to help you avoid potential pitfalls.

Also, a real estate agent provides comprehensive support as you get ready to finalize a house purchase. He or she will help you get ready for a home inspection, appraisal or closing and ensure that you can purchase your ideal house at a budget-friendly price.

Don't lose focus as you pursue your dream residence. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can stay on course and accomplish your homebuying goals.




Loading