Step One in Buying a Home is talking to a mortgage professional and obtaining a solid mortgage preapproval. Without knowing how much you can afford, the school district, number of bedrooms and the rest of the items on the wish list are irrelevant. First and foremost, no one should be buying a home that he or she cannot afford or for which they cannot obtain a mortgage commitment. Secondly, no Seller will entertain an offer from any buyer who does not have a solid mortgage preapproval.
And, I'm not talking about a generic mortgage preapproval from any lender. Some lending institutions will issue a preapproval that is not worth much more than the paper it is printed on. If in the end, if the borrower is not going to be approved for the mortgage, then the preapproval is worthless. A good mortgage professional will take the time to talk with you about your assets, liabilities, credit score, work history. He or she should be able to determine whether or not the borrower will be able to obtain the final mortgage approval.
How do Buyers know where to look for a mortgage preapproval? That is one area where your REALTOR can help! An experienced buyer agent has worked with a variety of mortgage professionals and should be able to recommend a number of people for the borrower to contact. They have had both good and bad experiences with a number of lending institutions; put that experience to good use and ask for recommendations. Do you already have a preapproval? Ask your REALTOR to take a look at it to determine if there are any problems with it.
When talking to my home buyers in Canton MA (and other surrounding communities), I like to recommend at least three different mortgage professionals. Each borrower has his or her own set of circumstances so it is helpful to look into a number of different options to determine who has the program that will meet their wants and needs. Like hiring any other professional, interview them and ask a lot of questions.
Once you have that mortgage preapproval in hand, you can cross Step One off your home buyer to do list and move on to looking for that house for sale in Canton MA!
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Christine Smith is an Attorney and Exclusive Buyer Agent with over 25 years of experience in the real estate field.
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