A: Start by talking with your Lender. Getting approved for your loan is the first step. Your mortgage professional will review your situation and let you know how much you can qualify to buy, make sure you are comfortable with that house payment or put you on a path to get you ready to buy.
Q: What does my credit score need to be?
A: We have programs that go down to a 600 fico score, however, you have much more flexibility if you are at a 620 or higher. The higher your score, the more options you have and the better interest rate you can get.
Q: Is it a good idea to get approved even if I don't have a property in mind?
A: Absolutely! Understanding how much of a house payment you can afford before you go shopping is extremely important. You don’t end up falling in love for a home that is out of your budget. It also lets you know if there are things to work on before you are ready to buy.
Q: What's the difference between Pre-qualification and Pre-approval?
A: Prequalification is typically based on just a conversation about your credit, income and assets. Pre-approval is based on reviewing your credit report and all pertinent income and asset paperwork.
Q: Why is my Realtor so insistent that I have a "Pre-approval letter"?
A: This letter shows your Realtor and the seller of home that you have made the effort to get your financial situation in order. The seller is more likely to accept an offer from a buyer who has a Pre-Approval letter rather than one who doesn’t.
Q: What do I find out during the Pre-Approval process?
A: You find out how much of a home you can afford, by the lenders guidelines and more importantly how much of a home you are comfortable with making the monthly payment on. No one wants you to waste your time and energy and get emotionally attached to a home that you can’t afford.
Q: Why do you ask for SO much paperwork?
A: Due to the housing crisis and the very “loose” guidelines for loans during that period, the pendulum has swung and guidelines and documentation is now very strict. We do our best to make this process as transparent as possible and guide you thru the process.
Q: How long does the process take to find a home?
A: A typical escrow is 30-45 days. There are numerous people and processes involved so part of it is out of our control. Besides finalizing you loan, you will have inspections on the home and an appraisal. Things can come up during these items that might prolong thing. We do highly respect that your life is revolving around the close of escrow date and do everything in our power to make it happen.