Buying And Financing Your Home-Take A Little Time To Save A Lot Of Money

Written by Posted On Thursday, 07 December 2023 00:00

Buying a home is one of the largest investments someone will make in a lifetime.  Getting a mortgage is one of the biggest loans in the budget.   Take a little time to save yourself a lot of money.  Team up with the experts and use their experience to save yourself from a bad experience. 

Taking a few extra minutes to prepare can give you big bragging rights on your real estate deal for years to come.

Here are some things to do as you set out to buy your home or get your mortgage.

Determine your budget.  Set a timer for two to three hours, turn on your favorite tunes and start slogging through your last six months bank statements and credit card statements.  Keep a tally of how much you are spending on food, rent, utilities, gas, insurance and more. Remember those bills you only pay once or twice a year like your car tags and insurance.   By the end of those two or three hours, you will know a lot better where you can save some bucks and how much you can comfortably afford for a house note.   Remember you need to have an ample amount in savings for emergencies.    How much money can you comfortably put down at closing and still keep your “rainy day” fund?

Are you planning to change jobs soon? Are you switching from a guaranteed W2 income to be a subcontractor or will you be retiring soon?  In most cases, the mortgage company will not use your self-employment income or 1099 subcontractor income unless they can average the net income from these income sources over the last two years. If you are planning to retire, make sure that the house payment that you determined would be comfortable will work on your retirement income. Make sure your timing on a job change or major purchase does not occur during the loan process.  

Putting together your team of experts

Take the time necessary to find a reputable lender that shows the most interest in helping you get the best mortgage terms to fit your plans.   A good lender will ask you questions about how long you plan to stay in the home you want to buy.   A good lender will explore different loan programs or a combination of loan programs that will help you get the house and financing you want, but stay in your comfort zone.  Ask the lender for a strong prequalification letter for the terms you need when you make an offer on a house. 

Find a reputable real estate agent.  Check reviews to track down an experienced realtor who is getting results for his or her clients. Hand to your realtor a list of features and amenities in order of priority that you absolutely require from a home you plan to purchase.   Make a list of things you do not want in your home.  These list can save you and your realtor time when you are searching for the right home. 

Once you have the contract on your home, you may opt to get a home inspection.  Home inspectors put their focus on the condition of the property.  If there is a looming problem with the roof or the foundation, it is better to know up front before you sign on the dotted line to purchase that home. 

If you are getting a mortgage, the lender will order the appraisal through a third-party appraisal ordering company. The appraiser, unlike the inspector, is there to determine a value of the home.  If there are obvious items at the house that affect the structure, security or sanitation of the home, an appraiser will note these items on the appraisal report.  Most lenders require that those type items be repaired before closing.   You may find some workarounds with the lender if you can’t do the repairs before closing.  

Other good team members to advise you on your homebuying journey are homeowners insurance agencies, home repair men, and a good closing attorney or title company. 

Finding the home that will be your castle

Look for homes that are priced to stay within your comfort zone on the monthly payment and the down payment. 

Are the homes in the neighborhood well maintained?

Drive through the neighborhood at different times of the day to get an idea of how much traffic comes through the area.

Will the home, the lawn and the parking work for the way you and your family like to live in a home?

Is the house close to places of interest to you like schools, shopping centers, work and public transportation?

Make a Plan B for your closing date

If you have a house you need to sell first before you can buy your new home, then put together a contingency plan to give you options, just in case both closings don’t close on the same day .

Check your calendar to make sure you have plenty of time to close on your new home, even if the seller can’t close on the day you had planned to close.

Rate this item
(1 Vote)
Jo Garner

 NMLS# 757308 (currently working with Sierra Pacific Mortgage, Inc Cordova, TN  NMLS # 1788 An Equal Housing Lender)

“Whatever YOUR  personal priorities are, my job is to help you get the mortgage terms that will give you bragging rights when you talk about it and help you score on  hitting your goals .”

As a mortgage loan officer, my job is to help you get to the  benefits you want from your financing terms.  What is most important to you? I can help you find the financing terms that will help you get to what you want.   What is your comfort level on a house payment? How much are you comfortable paying down,? What type of financing do you need to get the house you want to buy or refinance?

Different clients have different priorities in life—some are buying their first home with very little down payment funds.  Some are recovering from medical challenges, divorces or preparing to send children to college and some are embarking on a long term goal of buying properties to build rental income.”

Jo Garner is a mortgage officer with extensive knowledge in tailoring mortgages to her customers who are refinancing or purchasing homes all over the country.  She offers conventional, FHA, VA or other loan programs for refinancing and purchases. 

Jo can help you look at rent vs buy, when it makes sense to refinance, how to get the best deal on your home  purchase financing.  

Jo Garner  has been in the real estate/financing business for over 25 years.  She got her start in Portland, Maine where she first began her real estate career. She received her real estate education from the University of Southern Maine  and was personally mentored in San Diego, California  by Robert G. Allen, author of Nothing Down, Creating Wealth and The Challenge

On moving back to West Tennessee in 1987, she went into business buying and selling discounted owner-financed notes secured on real estate.  In 1990 Jo went to work for a residential mortgage company and has been a mortgage loan officer for over 25 years.  Her goal is to offer excellent, affordable service to her customers, tailoring the loan programs to the specific needs of her clients.  

In addition to her work in the mortgage field, Jo Garner is the primary sponsor and founder of Talk Shoppe in Memphis.

Jo Garner also host the radio show Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe airing on News Radio AM 600 WREC and iHeart Radio with podcasts and show notes published on

A hand holding a bookDescription automatically generated with low confidence

Pick up her book “Choosing the Best Mortgage-The Quickest Way to the Life You Want on and .

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.