I have some wonderful friends who love to look at houses. Notice I did not refer to these very lovely people as prospective buyers, although they may be, because they simply refuse to complete the pre-approval process with a lender. Oh, they’ve had the pre-qualification conversation, and I know what they make and I have a rough idea of what they can afford, but come on, if you want to buy a house don’t risk losing the one you want because you are not sure you can afford it. Get thee to a lender ASAP.
It is really difficult to accomplish a task when the cart is in front of the horse. Horses pull with ease, but pushing does not come easy. Buying a house is much easier when you take care of the financial questions first. With pre-approval letter in hand, house hunting is more fun and less stressful. When you align your dream house with your down payment, and income and mortgage payments fit comfortably within the family budget you are on the way to turning your some day-dream into today’s reality.
Lending requirements are constantly changing as are interest rates and the variety of loans available. You need an expert in the field to guide you through the maze of paperwork, advise you when it is time to lock in a rate and work with your real estate agent to coordinate the financing of your new home. It is a process, but anything worthwhile takes time and effort if you want to reap the rewards.