Before beginning the process of buying a house, you want to make sure you know how much lenders are willing to give you. This is an important step, as it will give you an idea of how much house you could potentially buy. You have two main options: You can get pre-approved or pre-qualified.
The pre-qualification process involves giving a mortgage company—such as Minute Mortgage— a picture of what your current financial situation looks like. This includes your current debt, income and assets. At this point, they will not look at your credit report. This is not an in-depth analysis of your ability to purchase a home. This is an estimate of how much home you could potentially afford and is a quicker process than pre-approval.
Pre-approval is the next, more-involved step. At this point, you will have to fill out a mortgage application and you will need to provide Minute Mortgage with documentation so we can run a credit check and a check on your financial history and background. Because this is a more in-depth process, you’ll receive a conditional amount that you could get a loan for. A home seller favors this more than a pre-qualification as the funds are a step closer to getting an actual mortgage. Now, you are then ready to take things to the next step.
Getting pre-approved for a home loan is one thing, but affording it is another. You want to make sure you have a set budget to know how large of a house payment you can make. Make sure you include things in your budget such utilities, house repairs and upkeep, taxes, HOA fees and more. You’ll also want to estimate your down payment and closing costs.
Before you’re ready to make an offer, you need to decide on the location you’d like to live, the type of home you’d like to buy and, of course, select a real estate agent.
Once you’ve found the home for you, it’s time to make an offer! This is the stage of the process where it’s crucial to have your real estate agent by your side. Your agent will have knowledge of the comparable homes in the area that have recently sold, base the offer price off of them, and write up a contract that will not only include the price of the offer and terms that you and the seller will need to agree upon, but also make sure that the contract meets all legal requirements.
After the offer is approved, it’s time to secure the mortgage by completing a mortgage application. You’ll definitely want to be pre-qualified, which will speed the process along.
Before the closing date, confirm with your real estate agent, mortgage lender and escrow company that all of the necessary documents have been signed and terms met. If they have not, take care of this right away to ensure that there are no issues at closing. You will also want to find out what the acceptable forms of payment are because all closing costs and fees will be paid on the closing date.