Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval
After you select your REALTOR®, the next most important step in the process is getting your financing in order. If you don’t know how much money you can be financed for (how much house you can buy), it’s like going to the grocery store without knowing how much money you have in your purse or wallet to spend. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is a crucial step in the process because it determines the price point of homes you will be looking at. You have to have your financing in place before you start shopping for homes with your REALTOR® so that you don’t fall in love with a home that you can’t get financed for.
That’s why I recommend getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval. This is a document from your bank or other lender stating how much of a mortgage they are willing to give you. There are two advantages to getting this pre-approval:
- It gives you the peace-of-mind of knowing you can afford homes you view on the market, and won’t have problems arranging financing.
- It’s a sign to sellers that you are a serious, prepared buyer – which gives you the edge when making an offer.
You can arrange for a Mortgage Pre-Approval with any of my Preferred Mortgage Partners and tell them I sent you.
How Much Home Can You Afford?
Banks and lenders use specific criteria to determine how much of a mortgage they’re willing to offer you. However, you should always ask about the monthly mortgage payment; that’s the amount you will pay every month. Make sure the monthly mortgage payment is an amount that you are comfortable with not just what the mortgage company or bank says you can afford. Never sacrifice your quality of life (acitvities with family and friends, vacations, hobbies, etc) for the sake of a higher priced home. You don’t want to be “house rich and cash poor”. Lenders look at your income, expenses, credit history and employment status, as well as the down payment you plan to make on a home. It may seem like a scary process, but it is actually straightforward. You can usually get a Mortgage Pre-Qualification in a day. Once you meet with your lender and provide them all the required documents, your loan will be underwritten and a pre-approval letter will be issued to you. Find your REALTOR®, get your financing and go buy your house!
By knowing what your monthly payment will look like and how much you can get financed for, you can confidently shop within that price range. For example, if you qualify for a $250,000 mortgage, and you have another $100,000 available as a down payment, you can look for homes in the $350,000 range.
Have questions about arranging financing? Please submit the form below, call or email me, or speak with one of my Preferred Mortgage Partners.