So you are ready to begin the process of buying a home? You’ve got some money saved up, your credit in order and you’re ready to start looking at houses. The first step in the home buying process is finding a good realtor and mortgage broker. You will need both. Some people find the realtor first, then the mortgage broker second. The order in which you assemble your team of professionals is less important than it is that you find reputable, experienced, ethical help that you feel comfortable with and most important has your best interest in mind.
Before looking at houses, it is necessary to meet with your mortgage professional of choice. Give them your financial information (authorize a credit check, tax returns, savings amount etc.). The broker can then take a snap shot of your financial profile. This way they know exactly how much you qualify for in a loan (essentially how much a bank would lend you). In many cases, borrowers will qualify for more loan amount than they would be comfortable in their monthly budget. This is very important to be careful with the amount of debt load you assume. Look at the monthly payment, including interest,insurance and property taxes. You are also going to have maintenance costs associated with home ownership. Don’t burden yourself to the point where you won’t be able to enjoy your new home. After all of your information is in, your lender will then be able to provide you with a pre approval letter for the amount you are able to spend. Most sellers will require this letter before seriously considering an offer. This way, you will know the price range in which you can realistically shop.
Now you can begin the process of searching for a home to make your own!