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So, 2024 is THE YEAR for becoming a homeowner!?  Let's GET READY for most important financial step in your life, by committing to THREE important resolutions today:

RESOLUTION #1: I will check and repair my credit. Before you start shopping for homes, make sure you have no errors or unresolved credit issues that could prevent you from getting a good loan rate.
The three credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Transunion and Equifax, don’t share data, nor do they correct errors without evidence. Order a full credit report from all three bureaus here. If you find an error, contact the appropriate bureau and mail copies of your payment, release of lien or other proof.

RESOLUTION #2: I will get preapproved for a mortgage loan. Collect two to four months of bank statements, pay stubs, and an account of your monthly debts and expenses for your lender. The lender calculates how much money you can safely borrow and at what interest rate.
Pre-approval also means a lot to sellers. A 'Pre-Qual' letter from a reputable Lender shows that you’re serious about buying a home, and that the closing process may be quicker and smoother because you already have a lender.

RESOLUTION #3: I will buy within my means. It’s sensible to buy the most home you can afford, and your lender will help you get there. If you're  considering an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (an ARM) for more buying power up-front,did you know your monthly mortgage payment may/will change considerably on a scheduled basis?  Have a big conversation with your Lender to understand the risks of using an ARM loan to 'buy more house'. Being “house poor” means having no money available every month for other things in life .

No idea where to start looking for a Lender?  Give me a call for a list of Professional Lender suggestions -- local lenders who've done a great job with previous clients.  I'm  never too busy to help with your home search or to help a friend you may send my way.

Your loan could be denied if 'Gifted Money' for a down payment is without the right paper trail.

Communicate RIGHT UP FRONT with your Lender that a gift may be part of your down-payment.   Gift contributions have guidelines & limits. Some loan programs require the borrower to personally contribute at least 3% to 5% of the down-payment, while others allow the entire down-payment to be supplied by a gift contribution.

To avoid questions, provide a certified down-payment gift letter or sign an affidavit to explain:
*The documented amount of the gift,  including  photocopies of the check
*Name/address of gift-giver and relationship to the homebuyer
*Purpose of the gift – to be used only as a down-payment on the subject property, complete with property’s address
*Statement confirming the gift is not a loan, and does not need to be repaid
*Signatures of the borrower and the gift-giver

Your lender can explain your loan's  particular requirements AND  provide the right form.  If you're planning to use a gift to help with Down Payment, share this up front with your personal Realtor and Lender.  Have more questions?  Give me a call, I'm happy to help! Melissa Hart -- reach out at

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Office: 1335 Lake Woodlands Dr Ste C,

The Woodlands TX 77380




THE MANNERED MUTT   (March 2017)

Expecting a


from Mom & Dad to help with a New Home?