Ready to buy your first home, but have no idea where to begin? Just taking this simple step, first, will get the ball rolling on a successful home buying experience!
Get Pre-Approved by a Local Bank or Mortgage Lender
Why? Getting pre-approved is an important first step because (unless you prefer or are able to pay cash) you will need financing from a bank or local lender to purchase a home and your pre-approval will tell you what price home you can afford to purchase. It is recommended you speak to at least 3 banks/lenders. While they will have similar loan programs to offer you, one lender may be able to offer you a better rate, down-payment, etc. and shopping around will ensure you get the best deal. A short phone call where the loan officer asks a few standard questions will give you an idea of what you will be approved for and you can then begin the home search! The questions will be regarding personal information about your specific finances and credit history, but will be kept private between you and the loan officer.
Once approved by the lender of your choice, you will then begin working on gathering requested documents for the lender. They will require documents such as pay stubs, bank statements, W-2’s and so on throughout the process to help confirm and guarantee your approval. You begin providing these documents immediately, but can continue to provide them along the way. So do not worry, you can begin the home search (the fun part) immediately! If you find out you are not yet pre-approved to buy a home, don’t be discouraged. You still made the right first step to getting pre-approved by speaking to a lender because they can give you some tips on how to work towards being pre-approved sooner rather than later.
Another good reason to have your pre-approval in hand when you begin your home search is it makes your offer, when you submit one, stronger and is most times a required document when submitting an offer. When you find “The One” you will be ready and won’t risk an opportunity to secure the home of your dreams! Some Sellers even prefer you provide proof of pre-approval before even viewing their home.
If you aren’t sure which local lenders to speak to, your Real Estate Agent can recommend a few for you. If you do not yet have a Real Estate Agent, see my last #TopicTuesday Blog “Choosing A Real Estate Agent” for tips on finding the right Agent for you.
Next week we will discuss how your credit score affects your ability to buy a home. Until next time…