Many of my clients have come to me fresh in their home search not knowing where to start. Talking with your Realtor is always a great first move as they can explain the buying process and answer any questions you may have. After speaking with your Realtor you should get prequalified with a trusted lender. If you do not have a lender, your Realtor should be able to refer you to someone they trust. Having a credible lender is crucial in your buying process so it is important that you get a great recommendation and in some cases it wouldn’t hurt to talk to a few lenders to see what kind of programs they offer and compare rates to see which option best suites your needs.
What is a prequalification?
-Getting prequlified simply can come from a conversation over the phone with your lender. They will ask you general questions to get a rough calculation of the mortgage payment you can afford. This will help set you in the right path as far as which homes to tour. The worst thing that could happen is that you start your home search without getting prequalified and fall in love with a home only to find out you can not afford it.
What is a preapproval?
-To go a step further in preparing yourself for the moment you find something you love, is to get preapproved by your lender. The difference in a preapproval verses a prequalification is submitting documentations for verification to your lender. Most listing agents will request that you have a preapproval letter in place when making an offer so it is in your best interest to get preapproved sooner than later. In today’s market if a home is priced right it will sell very quickly so you do not want to be scrambling at the last minute or have issues with your preapproval that could potentially make you miss out on your opportunity.
Some of the basic documents you may need include:
-Tax returns and W2’s from the past 2 years
-Bank statements from past 3 months
-Most recent pay stub
-Authorization to run a credit report
I recommend to all of my clients to get all of their paperwork into their lender ASAP. Feel free to contact me if you need a referral to a great lender. I work closely with a few lenders that I trust will take good care of you.