First steps in home-buying process
Laurie Mah, lau...@lauriemah.com
With the home buying season upon us, and interest rates continuing to remain at historically low levels, the phone lines are once again beginning to ring in our real estate office. The conversation goes something like this…..”Hello, I am interested in the house you have for sale at….can we take a look at it?” That’s my cue to start asking the usual pre-qualification questions to the potential homebuyer. After about two or three of those conversations, it occurred to me that there are folks out there that could benefit from some guidance in the home buying process.
So here you have it. What is the first step in Home Buying?
The first thing you want to do in the event you don’t already have a mortgage broker or loan officer at your bank is to contact your Realtor for a recommendation for such person. It is important to take care of this first and foremost in order for you to know if you qualify for a mortgage and how much house you can afford. No sense in going out house hunting without knowing this upfront, otherwise you risk looking at houses you can’t afford or wasting your time and that of your Realtor only to find out you have some dings on your credit and you need a few months to correct, therefore postponing the home buying process all together. Most lenders are happy to work with you to resolve any obstacles that are preventing you from qualifying.
Most mortgage companies and banks make it easy for everyone by having an online application to get you started that will provide you answers within a matter of minutes. If not, you can perform the process over the phone. By providing limited information to your loan officer or mortgage broker, you can get pre-qualified. It is a good start and will allow you to hit the pavement house hunting; know that you still have more work to do providing a list of documents to substantiate that information but at least your credit score and income are sufficient to move forward with the approval process. Frankly, if you are serious about home buying and know you have a limited amount of time to get moved, then go the extra mile up front and provide all the necessary documentation required by your lender to get full approval. By doing so, not only do you know exactly how much house you can afford and what it will cost you but it puts you in a better bargaining position and allows you to move quicker once you do find your dream home. Also note, the sellers have more confidence going into the transaction knowing that you are more than halfway through the process. Barring any hiccups with the inspection, title work and appraisal reports, you are that much closer to the American dream of homeownership. This is by no means an exhaustive explanation of your first step in the home buying process.
Know that this explanation is from a licensed realtor’s perspective and is for informational purposes only. For complete details and current rates and fee information contact your banker or licensed mortgage broker. For further questions you can contact me at or by phone at 469-831-6946.