Thinking about buying? This is the FIRST thing you should do.
Make a list!
Just kidding, that's not the first thing you should do
With the Zillows and Trulias of today, it’s easy to spend hours online perusing the market and waiting for that dream home to pop up. While their online calculator tools are nice, they can actually be pretty inaccurate (post on How to Read Zillow to come!) and finding the perfect home is not the first step in the buying process. Que, Step one! If you’re thinking about buying AT ALL, even in the next couple years, reach out to a mortgage lender. There is no commitment and there are three key things they can do for you in the early stages:
Advise you on your financial position and how to improve it. Crappy credit score? A lender can alert of you of this and advise you on how to better your financial position to qualify for a better loan when the time is right.
Provide a REAL number when it comes to buying power. It can be really heartbreaking to fall in love with a 400k home and later find out you will only qualify up to 380k. Find out your true buying power so your online search is realistic. Expectations are everything!
Pre-approval letter. Having a relationship with a lender on the back burner will give you a competitive advantage if that perfect home does pop up and you need to make an offer fast.
Mortgage lending is available through traditional banks or specialized mortgage companies. Ask your realtor for their recommendations and shop around. Don’t have a realtor yet? Check out our post “3 Steps to Picking a Rockstar Buyers Agent”!