When you begin the home shopping process, it helps to know your purchasing power. Otherwise you can easily wind up spending time looking at homes priced above or below your means—resulting in wasted time and disappointment. You can avoid the situation by getting pre-qualified or pre-approved; however, the two do not mean the same thing.
- Based on preliminary information regarding your income, debts and assets
- Information is usually provided verbally by the buyer(s)
- In-file credit report may or may not be reviewed
- Once a purchase agreement is executed, the next step is to complete a loan
- Buyer provides documentation of income, debts and assets
- Loan application is completed
- Information is verified and loan is approved by underwriter
- Buyer may be required to make a deposit on closing cost
- Loan is approved, subject to the home appraisal, a signed purchase agreement and terms addressed in the pre-approval commitment
Questions to consider when choosing a lender:
- Are the lender’s rates and fees competitive?
- Does the lender have in-house loan representatives?
- Does the lender offer a wide variety of loan programs?
- Is the lender able to provide on-the-spot loan approvals?
- Does the lender have local underwriters?
- Does the lender provide a free home inspection?
- Does the lender have any special programs or discounts for first-time buyers?