If the stars have aligned and it’s time to buy a new home — even if you’re stuck with virtual open houses given our current circumstances — don’t skip step one. Before you start hunting for that dream house, and possibly even before you link up with a real estate agent, you need to talk to a mortgage lender. Here are three reasons why.
1. To Properly Set Your Expectations
One of the worst scenarios is to find the house of your dreams, mentally move in, and have reality come crashing down when you crunch the numbers and realize there’s just no way you can afford it. By speaking with a lender upfront, you’ll set realistic expectations based on what you can afford, and you’ll have an idea of all the loan products that will help you make it happen. Plus, you can get the wheels rolling on your pre-approval letter. And you definitely want that.
2. To Make You an Attractive Buyer
The beauty of that pre-approval letter is what it signals to sellers and their agents — you’re serious, qualified, and ready to move.
3. To Get You Ahead of the Game
Completing a mortgage loan means a ton of paperwork, far beyond what you’ll be faced with on signing day. Tax returns, W-2s, pay stubs, bank statements — the list goes on. Starting to get organized early means your ducks are in a tidy row when it’s time to finalize your loan. Plus, you’ll have an idea of what this is all going to cost you, beyond the down payment.
And Keep in Mind…
Even with a pre-approval from a particular lender, you’re still free to shop around for more experienced lenders or better deals. It’s best to do your lender hunting within a small timeframe, to minimize dings on your credit score, but it won’t cost you anything at all to ask questions and consider your options.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but finding a lender before you find that dream house will streamline the buying process. Here in Reno, the Cushing Team of Guild Mortgage would love to help you get started. Contact us today, and let’s make a plan to get you ready for the house hunt.