You have been saving to buy a home for a while and you are curious to see what’s out there. A quick internet search turns up a few intriguing properties. You start dreaming of what your life would could be like in those homes. Before you run out and book a real estate agent to show you around, there is one essential step you should take: line up your mortgage funding.
While that might seem premature when you’re just in the “looking” phase, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the best way to start a search. Here’s why you should get pre-approved for a mortgage before you ever even open up the real estate apps:
Having a mortgage lender run your numbers and credit will allow him or her to give you an accurate picture of how much house you can afford. This will save you from wasting time viewing properties out of your price range and tell you whether or not you are even financially ready to be a homeowner. A mortgage lender should be able to give you an idea of the taxes and fees associated with your area to help you better understand what a monthly payment might look like. They can also let you know what the minimum down payment requirements are for different loan types. Securing funding before searching for homes will also afford you time to find the best interest rate available. This could result in huge savings over the course of your loan and provide you with a lower monthly payment.
Many potential buyers assume that they can qualify for a mortgage and yet many of them do not have any idea what their credit score is or how high a score they need. In some cases, there may be inaccuracies on your credit report that have brought your credit score down. Or maybe you have had some late payments or your debt-to-credit ratio is too high. Getting a pre-approval will help unearth these discrepancies and allow you to improve your score before trying in earnest to buy a house.
In a competitive real estate market, home sellers will have no patience for buyers without funding. When there are multiple offers on the table, the seller will always go with the buyer who is backed by a mortgage lender over one who doesn’t have funding yet. Being pre-approved will allow you to put a confident bid on that perfect property you might find earlier than you expected. It will make sure you don’t have remorse from letting a property slip away because you didn’t have mortgage financing ready. A mortgage pre-approval can help your home-buying process last just weeks or months, instead of years.
Smart home buyers figure out their mortgage financing first. Save yourself time, money and effort by talking to a mortgage lender before you talk to a real estate agent. Getting pre-approved will smooth the road of your home-buying process.