A common question from first time home buyers is where do I start? These days most will start by looking for homes on the internet and why not? The internet is the best source of information on homes available for sale. This is such a common question that I prepared an informative brochure for my clients on the home buying process.
So what is at the top of my list? I feel that the process starts with financing. Without financing, no home sale will close and unless you are a 100% cash buyer I suggest that the home buying process starts by contacting lender’s for a pre-approval.
This accomplishes a few things all at once. First of all, it helps you determine your buying power and what you want to use for your maximum price for your home search. Although, you may want to lower your maximum price cap depending on your monthly budget and what you feel comfortable with for a mortgage payment. Getting pre-approved will also provide you with an estimate of your monthly mortgage payment.
A pre-approval letter is something that sellers are going to want to see with an offer to take it seriously, especially in today’s market. Getting it up front will save you time once you find a home that you want to pursue. Time is of the essence in real estate transactions. If you wait to find a home before obtaining a pre-approval, someone else may scoop it up while you are trying to get your pre-approval letter.
Your buyer’s agent can suggest some good mortgage broker’s and lenders or search online for yourself. It is always a good idea to check whether a lender is reputable before contacting them. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to search to see if there are any complaints against a company. It is also a good idea to talk with several lenders so you can compare rates, terms, and closing costs. Mortgage brokers will have access to portfolio’s of lenders so they are a good place to start.
So start your home search today and contact some mortgage brokers and lenders.
After you obtain a pre-approval from a mortgage lender, consider using a real estate professional such as Chris Lefebvre as your buyer’s agent to help you find and negotiate the sale of your perfect home.