Bridget's Blog





I have been in the mortgage business for over 13 years.  I talk to folks thinking about buying homes in Maryland every day.  I find that sometimes these folks just are not ready to purchase, too often, these mistakes can be avoided.   Today I am here to share three BIG mistakes that folks make when thinking about a home purchase. 


Falling in love with a home before determining how much they can afford.

It’s always fun to browse on line or stop by open houses, but when it’s time to get serious it’s important to find out where you stand financially.  It’s hard to compare the $400,000 home that you loved to the $200,000 home you can afford! 

Don’t let this happen to you! 

Talk to a lender, be open and honest about your situation.  If they don’t ask to review ALL of the financial documents that could have a bearing on your approval, move on.  Find a lender who will help you to navigate the process.  Find a lender who will review your credit score to see if there are any steps you can take to improve your scores for a better loan.  Find a lender who cares about you and helping you to get the best loan


Mistake # 2

Considering the maximum they qualify for instead of what their comfortable monthly payment might be

Consider Your Lifestyle-Don’t be house poor!  What do you like to do?  Go out to eat, special hobbies, kid’s education, savings?  What additional expenses are coming up? New car, new baby?  In-laws moving in?  Will you be getting a raise? A new job? A second income? An inheritance?   All of these things should be considered.    

What is comfortable? Only you can answer this question!

Don’t forget to speak to your tax advisor about the tax benefit of homeownership, this may help stretch the budget.

Speaking of budget, that leads me right to the third mistake.  


Failing to budget.  

You may be amazed at how many bank statements I review that the outgo matches the income almost to the penny-Starbucks every day, McDonald’s, Old Navy, Target.  Folks forget to save money.  $5 here, $10 there adds up and could keep you from buying a home that you love! 

TIP:  Overdrafts can be a loan killer…keep track of those purchases and DON'T overspend!

Many folks thinking about a home purchase consider the down payment (Did you know you DON'T need 20% down to buy?), but they don’t consider out of pocket expenses, earnest money deposits, appraisals, home inspections.  They forget about the cost to purchase including closing costs, prepaid expenses and setting up escrow accounts for homeowner’s insurance and property tax payments. The seller can contribute toward closing costs, if negotiated into the contract.  How much they can contribute can depend on the type of financing.

In some cases, owning a home will cost less than renting.  In others, folks are moving up and moving out…this means more monthly and bigger annual and one-time expenses than you may be used to, more maintenance costs and higher utility bills.  Don't forget about those unexpected expenses when something breaks down or needs replacing, you won't be able to call the landlord!  Budgeting is key to being ready for home ownership!

If you are thinking about buying in a month or in a year, talk to a great lender in your area to find out where you stand and what steps you can take to be MORTGAGE ready. 

If you are buying in Maryland, my brother Tony and I would love to help you.  If you are buyinng elsewhere, we also are happy to refer you to a lender who can help! 

Let’s chat! 

You can reach me at 410-960-2061 or find me online at

Warm Regards,

Bridget McGee  Maryland Mortgage Mama  NMLS# 196068  SWBC Mortgage.   410-960-2061 EHO or


If you are considering purchasing a home in Maryland and want to be sure you are mortgage ready, my brother Tony and I will be happy to help! We help to make the mortgage process a pleasure! 

If you already own your home, we are happy to provide a no-cost mortgage review to help you to determine if refinancing may be in your best interest.  Please contact me at 410-960-2061.

Comment balloon 22 commentsBridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee • June 11 2014 04:21PM


You know it Bridget! As a REALTOR I always emphasize the difference between loan approval amount and comfort level, quite often those are not the same.

Posted by Andrea Bedard, M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond (Thompson Company, REALTORS®) over 6 years ago


Great information.  Before starting the homebuying process, buyers should consult a lender to discusss the total costs involved in purchasing a home.  The bank statement tells a story and the importance of spending habits that are revealed, can be underestimated. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Diana White-Pettis, GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale (Bennett Realty Solutions) over 6 years ago

I can tell you this would not happen if they were working with the best trained real estate professionals.  We never leave the office with any buyer until they are preapproved and we know exactly what they are going to is only what they can truly purchase. 

Posted by Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage, Keller Williams Land Luxury Division Specialist (Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona) over 6 years ago

Bridget~ you have nailed it, this post is a perfect guideline for would-be buyers Awesome post!

Posted by Jon Kolsky, Licensed California Real Estate Broker (Kolsky Realty & Management) over 6 years ago


Absolutely, Absolutely, Absolutely!

Anybody would benefit in avoiding these harmful mistakes!

Posted by Pete Xavier, Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide (Investments to Luxury) over 6 years ago

Bridget, these are great tips.  I'll reblog it, I love it!!

Posted by June Piper-Brandon, Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time (Houwzer Inc) over 6 years ago

Bridget, excellent post. thanks

Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) over 6 years ago

I tell folks "pre-approved amount" doesn't equal "must spend amount."

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Good stuff, Bridget...  Thanks for speaking the truth.

Posted by Stu Dye, Senior Loan Officer (Mortgage Network, Inc. NMLS #2668) over 6 years ago

Great post, so well said.  Thank you

Posted by Kunni Biener (First Class Title, Inc. ) over 6 years ago

Excellent post, Bridget. Cannot stress this enough to potential buyers.  There are some loan officers who try to apease buyers and don't even mention tax and insurance that may be part of their monthly mortgage payment. I've often asked if they are comfortable with their rental/lease payment. If they are and don't want anything more than a certain amount for their mortgage payment, then we may have to look for something less than what they've been pre-approved for. Always suggesting pre-approval.

Posted by Theresa Akin (CORPUS CHRISTI REALTY GROUP) over 6 years ago

Oh yes you are so right. I hate it when they fall in love with a home they cannot buy. :(

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 6 years ago

This is such a good post with such good information, I am going to make this the topic of my Sunday radio show. My plan  is to have Bridget on the show even though it is Father's Day. Stay tuned!

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 6 years ago

Very good advise.  Don't get in over your head.  Buying a home can be more expensive than you think.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Andrea, Sometimes folks will be very conservative but will stretch a little for the right house.   Others have chanpagne tastes on a beer budget...they may forever be renters.

Diane, You are so right!  Thank you!

Kevin, I think it is more a case for educating the buyer.  It's my job to help them to understand and to help them to determine what is in their best interest!

Jon,  Thanks so much for the huge compliment! 

Pete,  Unfortunately there is a big lack of education when it comes to credit and home buying.  Hopefully this post helps someone to figure it out before it's too late!

June, Thanks for the re-blog!!  Glad you liked it!

Ron, Stu and Kunni,   My pleasure! Thanks.

Gary, this is why I always talk to buyers about what is comfortable!  They should never START at the top of their price range.

Theresa, Documents must be reviewed to ensure that everyone is on the same page!




Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) over 6 years ago

Karen, It's heart-breaking and frustrating for everyone!

Margaret,  I am so honored and excited to be on your show on Sunday!

Gene,  Sometimes I wonder if we learned anything from the mortgage meltdown! Like gambling, bet with your head, not over it!

Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) over 6 years ago

I stress #2 and tell my Buyers to look around 10% or more UNDER what they are approved for because I don't want them cussin' me each time they write that mortgage cheack for the house that "I MADE THEM BUY"!!

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner, email: / cell: 334-494-7846 (Travis Realty) over 6 years ago

Bridget, Thanks for agreeing and giving up a part of Father's Day with Papa Razzi. 

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 6 years ago

Bridget, it's important for all buyers to understand the out of pocket expenses necessary to purchase a home, as well as ongoing maintenance and expenses for the home.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 6 years ago

Great post for buyers to heed your advice.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 6 years ago

Bridget, great post.  #1 - That's why I don't show homes before the buyer get's pre-approved.  They may fall in love with something they can't afford.

Posted by Sharon Sanchez, Your Number "1" Source For Real Estate. (Ace Home Realty) over 6 years ago

Great post. I would add the first time home buyers need to set their sights a little lower. It's hard (expensive) to get every feature you want in your first home.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) about 6 years ago