If you’re buying a home for the first time and you’re not planning to pay cash for it, you’re going to need a bank to give you a loan. And since most of us can’t afford to pay cash for any home, let alone the first one, chances are, I’m talking to you!
There’s a reason going to the bank should be your first step. Sometimes people think they’d just like to see a few homes first and then plan to visit the bank later…wrong. Any good real estate agent will not take you to see homes until you’ve been to the bank and have been pre-approved. Why? To be quite frank, it’s just a waste of time. It’s a waste of your time, the Realtor’s time and most of all, the seller’s time.
From the seller’s point of view, they may have to pack up the kids, pay for dinner out and get started on homework later than usual to accommodate your showing. From the Realtor’s point of view, I might hop in the car and drive 40 miles one way only to find that the buyer I’m meeting already has a Realtor they intend to use, but that Realtor wasn’t available just then…that’s a bummer. From the buyer’s point of view, you could end up looking at homes you love, but can’t afford to buy! There’s no bigger let down in real estate-trust me.
When you meet with your lender they will ask for a lot of personal information from you so set aside some time to gather some paperwork! Here’s a look at the first few steps involved:
- You’ll need to fill out an application and it is lengthy people so be ready!
- The lender will need your permission to run a credit report on you.
- You will be asked to bring in lots of documentation…last 2 years of tax returns, 2 months of savings and checking statements, last 30 days of paystubs…ugh!
Add to that, the lender will ask for even more if you’re divorced, if you’re paying on school loans, if you pay child support or alimony…the list goes on. And there is no whining in home buying! This is a huge undertaking and these are just the first steps towards home ownership, but I promise, it will be worth it! Your lender will be one of the most important people in your life during this process. You may occasionally think they’re deliberately punishing you for some unknown reason, but really, they’re only doing their job, which is to protect the bank that’s giving you a loan and that’s the end goal!
The point is, getting to know a mortgage lender is the first step you should take when you’re ready to make a home purchase. Call me if you don’t know a lender you’d like to use. I know many really good lenders who are hard-working, trustworthy and want what’s best for you.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check back next week to find out more about the home buying process!