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Lloyd Ann Caston's Blog

By Lloyd Ann Caston,ABR,CRS,GRI | Broker in 58701
  • Pre-Qual or Preapproval...what's the difference?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Minot, Home Selling in Minot, Credit Score in Minot  |  June 19, 2012 5:45 PM  |  242 views  |  No comments
    As most of you know, Minot's housing market is tight...meaning there are more people looking for a home than there are houses to buy.  It is basically what others would refer to as a "Seller's Market"

    I do not like using that term because, if no buyer is willing to pay the price the seller wants for the house they have, then, the seller's can hold their price...until they do, but they may not sell it anytime soon.  It is just like any market, the best homes sell fast and at a price a "buyer" is willing to pay.

    With a market like we have currently, it is important to be ready to buy when you find the house you want.  It is important to have your "ducks in a row" so to speak.

    A seller that has received multiple offers on their house is going to take the one that nets them the highest amount and is most likely going to close with no serious issues.

    Buyer Financing is a big one.  It is why I encourage buyers to go to the lender, have them do a full credit approval, meaning they get your tax returns(make sure you always keep a printed copy, no matter what) , 2 pay statements (don't throw out those stubs), a list of your loans and credit cards, School Loans, Alimony payments (if any), Child Support payments(if any), collections(if any) Judgments(if any), copies of your checking and savings accounts(to show you have funds to close).  
    When they have this information they will be able to determine that you can purchase a home in a specific price range, and reasonably expect it to close. (Provided they can approve you)  The regulations for approving loans has increased in the last few years, and nationwide about 40% of all requests for home loans are denied.  

    Lenders will have to verify your employment, and all of the information noted above, and perhaps other information before they will be allowed to give you a loan to purchase a home.  It can take some time, and it is essential you take them EVERYTHING they need as quickly as possible.

    Once they have verified the information they will issue a letter of Credit approval...subject to conditions. Provided you meet the criteria needed to buy. This does not mean you will get a loan on the house of your dreams, but it does mean that there will be no problems with your financing, unless you change something, like buy a new vehicle or a major purchase, or spend your closing funds....Or change jobs...length of employment is one of the major considerations in loan approvals.

    Don't be fooled by a Pre-Qual....It means that you have called a lender and told them you make "x" amount of money, you have "x" amount of debt, and they use the numbers you give them and say you would qualify for a house in a certain price range.  That pre-qual will not be honored by anyone, and savvy seller's will not accept that as a "Credit Approval".  

    So if you are wanting to buy a house, make an appointment with your local Mortgage lender, and ask what all you need to bring in for a "full Credit Approval" to buy a house.  Get that information together and take it with you.  

    Once you are approved it is time to hire an agent to represent you in the purchase of a home.  Always bring your letter of "Credit Approval" with you when you meet with that agent.  If you find a house that day, then you will need to move quickly to purchase it, and you will need to submit a copy of that Credit Approval letter with your offer on the property you wish to purchase.

    Taking care of the things in the correct order will help make your home-buying experience a happy one, with less chance of problems arising that prevent you from getting the Home you really want!  Happy House Hunting!

  • Counterfeit Money Orders and Cashiers checks....

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Minot  |  June 6, 2012 10:05 PM  |  264 views  |  No comments
    Just a head's up to those sellers who are selling on their own.  Please be alert to a possible scam that will take your money and leave you with a mortgage loan on your home and no home.  

    How it works...someone contacts you by phone or e-mail and wants to buy your house,   They have cash and they send you a Money Order or Cashier's check for the purchase price.  They probably won't need to have the Abstract updated....because they trust you.  

    When someone trusts us, we are more likely to trust them.  So they send you a contract to buy the house and send you the deed or want you to have a deed made for them (they may suggest an office supply store that has blank forms that you just fill in).

    They send you the Money Order or Cashiers check and you say you want to make sure the Money Order or Cashiers check are good.  So you deposit them.. and wait the usual 10 days or so....Part of the deal is that you pay off your Mortgage loan so out of the funds, you pay that off.  You move out and on with your life, and all is well...

    About two months later, everything showing in your account disappears (unless you have already used the money to buy another home, in which case you have really serious problems)  ... there is a letter from your bank telling you the Money Order or the Cashier's check was counterfeit.  

    The result...You have signed over your home's title to someone else...the mortgage was reported as paid off....the person you sold your house to has by now sold your house to someone else and actually gotten cash for it.  Now they come after you for a bad check for the pay-off of your mortgage, you have no money to pay it, and your house belongs to someone else.  Your original buyer has disappeared...Not a fun place to be...

    Just sayin'  Be Careful... and yes...it can happen in Minot!
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