How do you begin one of the hardest decisions in your life? I’m talking about becoming a first-time homebuyer. There is an overload of information both online and when you ask friends or family how to start the home buying process. Most people don’t see a lender before they start going to open houses and finding a realtor because they are not sure what the first steps should be, but they should.
Unless you’re a financial expert, it’s best not to self-diagnose your financial situation in order to prepare for buying a home. If you’re not a car mechanic, you wouldn’t try and fix a car that wouldn’t start, so don’t try to guess your financial status if you’re considering a home purchase without the help of a loan officer who can walk you through your options.
Here are five reasons you should get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin the house-hunting process.
As mentioned above the appropriate time to get a loan officer involved in the home buying process is now. Your loan officer may be able to show you how you’re closer to being able to buy a home than you think. It’s likely that you are not aware of all of the financing options out there, so they will be able to open you up to numerous possibilities.
Credit Scores and Options
Loan officers can potentially find you options that don’t require you to have perfect credit. There are a lot of programs out there that accommodate individuals who have struggled to improve their credit and if your credit needs a little TLC a loan officer a loan officer is able to assist you in developing a plan to gradually improve your credit.
Working with a loan officer early on will help you to get pre-approved. This is beneficial as your offer on a home will stand out since you have your finances in order. If there are other offers on the table, they will likely feel inclined to go with those buyers who have pre-approval from their lender.
Just because you’re pre-approved for a loan doesn’t mean you have to stick with that loan. You can continue to apply for other loans from other lenders – just be sure to collect your offers on the same day, since mortgage rates change every day.
How Much Money You Will Need to Close
Additionally, your loan officer will be able to tell you exactly how much you need for your down payment, and also how to save for that if you need assistance with that as well. Keep in mind that you will probably need more money than you anticipate. Costs will include your official down payment, lend fees, points, mortgage insurance and more. If you’re lucky the seller will pay one or more of these line items for you, but it’s always recommended to talk with you lender beforehand to get an idea of just how much you should expect to spend at closing.
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