Ask Shawn and Sharon - Bankruptcy & Home Owners

I had a previous bankruptcy, but I pay my bills on time now. I'm tired of renting and landlords. Can I qualify for a mortgage?

Even with the recent changes in the mortgage market, in as little as 2 years after a bankruptcy has been discharged, you may still qualify to obtain a loan on a house, rather than renting. There are advantages and disadvantages that you may want to consider before jumping into a home purchase.

Ask your realtor for some recommendations in loan officers and do some research yourself. A good loan officer should be able to tell you how soon you may be eligible for a mortgage, or what you need to do to become eligible. You may be surprised that you can have home ownership sooner than you thought!

Make sure that you have a budget and plan in place to pay for the additional expenses associated with home ownership versus renting. For example, when the furnace breaks, you are the one who must pay to repair it! Work out a monthly house budget and decide on a payment which makes you comfortable. (Don't just use what you can "qualify" for!). It is best to make sure that you have a decent down payment to avoid payments that are going to increase over time.

If your loan officer tells you that you can get a better loan in six months if you wait, please wait!

Best of luck in home ownership!