New home buyers do not always get the right impression when an agent asks them if they’ve been prequalified by a lender. They feel that the agent is trying to move things along, so they can get them under agreement on a home and move on to the next client. That is actually quite the contrary. This is the largest purchase you will ever make in your lifetime. It’s a commitment that requires education and careful consideration.
I always recommend speaking with a lender prior to looking at homes. This assures that we have an attainable grasp on not only the amount the client can qualify for, but what they can actually afford. Many people qualify for loans that are much higher than what they are comfortable paying monthly. Staying within their means is important. Knowing what a client’s comfortable payment is, allows me to search for homes that encompass their wants and needs, in a realistic manner. The last thing that I want is for a client to fall in love with a home that they can not afford. Handling this prior saves us all time, frustration, and heart break. My recommendation to clients is to keep on the conservative side. Spending outside of your affordability, can be disastrous quickly. Keep in mind that simple cosmetic repairs go a long way. A coat of paint and new carpets can make a world of a difference! (You’d be surprised how many of your friends are willing to help for a case or two of beer and some pizza.)
When submitting an offer, a prequalification letter is required. Bankers have normal hours, but real estate agents do not. Having the letter in hand is a great idea, in case a home is viewed over the weekend and the agent is unable to get in touch with the lender. I also like to contact the lenders beforehand to introduce myself and make sure they have my contact information. If you do not have a lender of choice, I can recommend a few.
If you are unsure of what your affordability is, get in touch with me. You may qualify, you may not. I’d be more than happy to sit down with you to do a BFI, or Buyer’s Financial Information sheet and explain the process. 610-823-1309