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Finding your perfect home can be a challenge, but at Wintrust Mortgage, we don’t think understanding your mortgage should be. Let us help break it down.
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A mortgage is loan by a bank or financial institution that lends money, at a specific interest rate over a specific period of time, to help finance the purchase of a home. A mortgage differs from other loan types in that the home you purchase is used as collateral until the mortgage is paid off.
Before you start looking for your new home, you need to know how much you can afford. The pre-qualification process helps you get a sense of whether you're ready to take on a mortgage. It's a simple, no obligation step to help you get started towards homeownership.
1. Determine how much you can afford. You don't want something that's too much, but you don't want something that's less than what you can actually afford. Pre-qualify to find your perfect range.
2. See how much you'll need for a down payment. Pre-qualifying also helps you determine how much you'll need to put down. But, don't let the down payment stand in your way; there are first-time homebuyer programs that can help offset down payment costs.
3. Figure out your mortgage payment. Get a sense of your monthly principal, interest, taxes, and insurance payments to see if the payment works within your budget.
Once you're pre-qualified, you'll receive a certificate to give to your real estate agent to prove you're a serious potential homebuyer. Then, the fun begins!
Keep in mind that a pre-qualification isn’t a full application. It’s only an estimation of how much home you can afford.