The first step in the homebuying process is to find out what you can afford to pay for a house, condo or co-op. This will depend on the amount of cash you have available for a down payment, your credit, income, assets and overall financial situation.
Mortgage qualification is easier for buyers who work as employees whose income can be easily verified. Self-employed individuals or buyers with income from investments may find the qualification process more difficult.
A wrinkle in the financing end of the homebuying process is that it’s not as easy to get a preapproval letter from your mortgage broker or loan agent as it used to be. As of Jan. 1, 2010, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began requiring lenders and mortgages brokers to issue a binding Good Faith Estimate (GFE) within three days of receiving a loan application.