Many home buyers think talking with a lender is a step they should take once they’ve found a home and are ready to place an offer.  WRONG!  Talking to a lender should be your FIRST step, even if you are only contemplating home buying.  

Having an expert look over your income, credit score, current debts, and your financial portfolio is the best way to ensure you know exactly how much how you can afford. Additionally, a reputable lender can talk to you about the various mortgage products to consider, based on your needs and qualifications.   

Most property search engines have a mortgage calculator but BE CAREFUL!  Those calculators typically assume you will be putting 20% down, which isn’t a bad idea but many home buyers don’t have 20% available and you don’t *need* 20% down to qualify for a mortgage.  Those calculators also don’t always include additional expenses that factor into your monthly payment such as taxes and insurance.  A lender will be able to tell you exactly how much you’ll need to have for a downpayment and what your payments would be as you start to narrow down your home options.  

When deciding on a lender, don’t just go to the first website you see online and start sharing your personal information! That’s a great way to get an inbox full of spam!   I work with a handful of lenders that I know personally and whom I trust to handle sensitive information responsibly.   You will feel confident in discussing your financial picture with my preferred lenders and, when the time comes, you will still be able to shop around for the best possible rates.  My preferred lenders will likely be able to match any rates you find elsewhere, but rest assured I’ll be shopping rates for you as well – its great to have lenders competing for my client’s trust and business when it comes time to secure financing.  

When you are just getting started, however, work with one lender who can advise you on your overall readiness as well as give you suggestions on steps you can take to become the ideal loan applicant.  You might even learn that now isn’t the best time for you to buy, but a responsible lender will have no problem letting you know if that’s the case and they will maintain an ongoing, working relationship with you to guide you through credit improvement and financial savings and planning so by the time you are ready to buy, you will have a mortgage partner on your side!   That is the difference between going it alone and choosing a right-hand real estate specialist.  I am here for you from “Could we?” until closing (and beyond!) and so are the professionals in my trusted network.  

A quick phone call is all it takes to get started and we can be looking at homes later the same day!  Having that conversation completed before we start searching ensures that we look at homes in your price range (no HGTV moments where you’re standing in a home you love, only to find it’s WAY over your budget) and, when we find the right house, we will be in a position to make a strong offer, lender letter in hand!  (Like Elizabeth Banks says in the video, “they’ll know you’re a baller”)  

Do you have questions about mortgages?  Confused by the process or curious to find out where you stand?  Let’s chat!  Just call, text, email, or message me on social media and we can talk about what to look for in a lender, who to call, what to ask, and most importantly, how to ensure you feel comfortable along the way.  

Until next time…

Christina
Your Right-Hand Real Estate Specialist!

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Buying a home can be an overwhelming process, even if you’ve purchased a home before.   This week, I’m bringing you a 5-part video series that playfully illustrates the home-buying process.

Questions?  Let’s schedule a time to chat about your next steps towards home ownership!

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