Kellie Smith, Home Buyer in Chesapeake, VA

Hello I am looking to purchase a home should I look for the home before my financing is approved.

Asked by Kellie Smith, Chesapeake, VA Thu Apr 5, 2012

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30
Bryan Cerny, Agent, Chesapeake, VA
Thu Apr 11, 2013
Kelly

In this market, you definitely want to have your financing approved prior to looking for a home. There are two reasons:

1. All sellers expect to see the buyer's financing qualification with any contract
2. You know the value of homes to search.

The second factor is very important. To show you $200,000 homes that you don't like for what they offer when you can afford $350,000 will be a s big of disappointment as if we see $200,000 homes that you really like but can only afford $125,000. Thus, you serve your best interest in knowing what you can afford prior to starting.

Yet as Michael notes, a Realtor, like him or me, can definitely refer you to some very helpful mortgage officers. Please give me a call at 580-6546
1 vote
Michael Stro…, , San Jose, CA
Thu Apr 12, 2012
If you are honestly lookikng to purchase than I would strongly encourage you to first seek the help of a Realtor who can guide you through the purchasing process. As others have previously pointed out, the first step in your home purchase process is to be at the very minimum prequalified for a loan to determine what price range of homes, based on income and current debt load, you could afford to purchase. To get 'Pre-approved" by a lender is even better.

There are a greater amount of Sellers requiring a "Pre-Approval" from an institutional lender such as Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, etc. to accompany any offer presented. There is also the growing acceptance of providing a Seller with Proof of Funds. Documented proof that the funds necessary for downpayment and closing costs be provided with the offer!

In many areas of California we have very low inventories of available homes as Sellers are waiting for prices to creep back up. This means we often seen multiple offers within days of properties being listed or being marketed. As a Buyer, you are well advised to have all your prep work done before you start your home search, your Realtor can assist you in preparations . Nothing is more heartbreaking than having a client find the "perfect" house only to miss out on the opportunity to purchase because another Buyer, that had done all the necessary preparations, was able to present a complete package that was accepted by the Seller.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Having all the prep work done will save you time , energy and the potential heartbreak of losing out on the chance of buying the home of your dreams and settling for second best!
1 vote
Misty Mount, Agent, Yorktown, VA
Fri Apr 6, 2012
The point of a prequal is not just to tell you that can get a loan, but it also lets you know how much money you can expect to get from that lender.
As a buyer's agent I will not take buyers into a home without a prequal letter. It's not fair to the buyer to view homes that they have no idea if they can afford, it's unprofessional for me to take you into homes you may not be able to get financing for, and it's unfair to the Seller who is selling the home.

A prequal letter is VERY easy to get. Agents can give you referrals for a lender or you can go through your personal bank. There are also programs out there for buyers with low income. If you're unable to get the financing right now, a good lender will give you a plan of action that will tell you what you need to do to get a loan later on. I know of a few great ones, if you'd like a referral. GOOD LUCK!!
Misty
1 vote
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Wed May 1, 2013
Good afternoon Kellie,

First steps:

Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.

Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.

Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140

*If you thought my answer was helpful, please give me a “Thumbs Up” or “Best Answer.” Thanks!
0 votes
Terry Smith, Agent, Chesapeake, VA
Wed May 1, 2013
Good afternoon Kellie,
I hope by now you have found the answers and solutions you were looking for. It is always a good thing to have prior mortgage approval before you go and look. You may qualify for a higher price of a home but are comfortable with a lower payment. With interest rates and different mortgage programs out there, you may be able to get more house for less money. :)

I would love the chance to help you find a lender and a new home at your convenience. Give me a call or email me anytime. :) Great luck on your new home search.

Terry Smith Realtor
757-377-1443
Web Reference:  http://www.letsfindhomes.com
0 votes
Maureen Thel…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Thu Apr 12, 2012
If you are serious about wanting to buy, you will save yourself a lot of time and heartache by getting pre-qualified before you go out looking at homes. You will know what you can afford, and perhaps most important these days in the Phoenix market, you will be ready to submit an offer as soon as the right house appears. I'm not familiar with your market in Virginia, however our standard Arizona residential resale contract now provides a check box to show that the buyer's pre-qualification form is or is not attached to the offer, and most Sellers will not consider you to be a serious buyer if you don't attach one. Homes in our market, especially those priced to sell in all price ranges, are selling at a rvery apid pace. Many homes, particularly those under $200,000, have multiple offers within days, if not hours, of coming on the market. If you find the perfect house before you have your pre-qualification from your lender in hand, you might not even get a chance to put in an offer before someone else gets it under contract. You are likelt to have a better buying experience and end up getting what you want if you start your search after becoming pre-qualified. Ask your Realtor for recommendations on Loan Officers they know who have an excellent track record of closing purchase loans on time. Good luck and have fun finding your next home!
Web Reference:  http://www.urbanpremises.com
0 votes
Bill Rothfolk, Agent, Chattanooga, TN
Thu Apr 12, 2012
I believe it's better served to define you price point market range with an approved credit range.
That saves both you and realtors time, and a much better forcused search of properties.
0 votes
Brian VerBurg, Agent, Ladera Ranch, CA
Thu Apr 12, 2012
You can always look, but I would not waste anyone's time before getting approved for the financing. You can't in good faith make an offer without having the financing lined up, and there are many unexpected situations that may prevent you from obtaining the financing you are assuming you will be approved for. You should always get your financing in order first. Then you will know you can make a real offer.
0 votes
Michael Smith…, , Roseville, CA
Tue Apr 10, 2012
Meet with your mortgage lender = step #1
Complete an application.
Once they run credit and run you through DU or LP (for Fannie & Freddie loans respectfully), you should then have a pre-approval.
From there you will provide your lender with proof of income, assets, explanation letters, etc.

For an underwriting pre-approval, ask the lender to submit to underwriting.
Once it is out it is good for 90 days.

Now you are ready to shop.
0 votes
brent mendel…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Bethesda, MD
Tue Apr 10, 2012
.Non Realtor,

I respectfully disagree. Or to be more accurate no one knows if prices will decline or increase where YOU the buyer wish to buy. I have written about this before, people get all hung up on national trends of falling home prices. Maybe true but of no value or importance to the buyer. Consider also if rates go up but the price drops, Is the buyer ahead of the game? What if the UW guidelines get tougher and the person can't buy at all in a year? FHA just increased the UFMIP and the monthly MIP today. It will go up in the future again. This is why you talk to a lender who can explain all this information and let the buyer decide. Besides if the person is on a 30 year fixed and plans on living there many years small price changes are the last reason they should not buy a home now. These are all things that non lenders/realtors may not consider when dispensing advice

Brent Mendelson
Senior Loan Officer
1ST Mariner Mortgage
O-240-235-5314
C-301-412-0259
F-240-235-8236
Bmendelson@1stMarnierbank.com
Lending in all 50 states
nmlsr#111407
0 votes
Charles Lewis, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Tue Apr 10, 2012
Its not just about how much you can afford. Not having your financing in place can cost you in your negotiation power. How would it feel to have found the home you like and want to make an offer. So you run to the bank to get approved. They may or may not be able to get you approved that day. You wait patiently, only for a second offer to come in and the seller accepts that offer because they were already pre-approved by a lender and you weren't. They were better prepared and it cost you. Its like showing up to the game without practicing.
0 votes
Rudy McDowell, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Fri Apr 6, 2012
ABSOLUTELY. You should always be preapproved first. Also, make certain its an actual preapproval, meaning the LO has looked at and verified your credit score and report, proof of income and/or employment, most recent bank statement/ savings/assets, last 2 years of W2s and federal tax returns, and ID. At times, I will also run what is called DU (automated Direct Underwriting) to better insure that a clients particular financial profile is approvable before they start looking at homes.
0 votes
NonRealtor, , 23456
Fri Apr 6, 2012
Hi ksmith1970,
Save your money for a good downpayment. Wait another year to buy, prices are declining. Good Luck
0 votes
Gary Geer, Agent, Antioch, IL
Fri Apr 6, 2012
It's usually best to get a approval, but sometimes a prequalificaion will work to submit an offer. With a preapproval you are approved usually only subject to the appraisal of the property you select. By getting this done first, you will know exactly what price range you can afford and your agent can set up your search criteria accordingly. Before you buy it's best to learn about the market by looking at some listings and then viewing a few homes. Your agent can help you with this.

All the best,


Gary Geer

http://www.ggeer.illinoisproperty.com
0 votes
Steve Quinta…, Agent, Albuquerque, NM
Fri Apr 6, 2012
Get your financing first. Most brokers will not work with a buyer that does not have proof of financial ability to perform.

Show your broker your financing. The broker should be able to comment of whether your deal can be improved.
0 votes
Elliott R. O…, Agent, McLean, VA
Fri Apr 6, 2012
ALWAYS get Pre-Approved first! Take a minute to learn about the Pre-Approval process here: http://www.trulia.com/blog/elliott_r_oliva/2011/12/pre-apppr…
0 votes
brent mendel…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Bethesda, MD
Fri Apr 6, 2012
I think it would be a waste of time for you, your realtor, the sellers and anyone else involved if you don't know if you A) can get a loan and B) can afford the home you are interested in buying.
Sections A and B are different. You will be able to be qualified for more home than you can truly afford which means you will be what we call "house poor" if you approach the home buying process the way many do.

The way I do it when a buyer calls is the following. I ask 'what payment do you see yourself making every month". Then I make sure the borrower understands taxes and insurance plus HOA fees for a total payment. I take those answers along with down payment information and come up with a price range of homes they can buy. That way they can decide instead of the home deciding for them. Hope this makes sense if not just let me know and we can take this more in depth.

Thanks

Brent Mendelson
1ST Mariner Mortgage
O-240-235-5314
C-301-412-0259
Bmendelson@1stMarnierbank.com
Lending in all 50 states
0 votes
Simona Manu, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Fri Apr 6, 2012
You definitely may want to speak with a lender first, especially in today market. Going out and looking at houses randomly is a waste of time, now that we have so many properties in the market. Looking at houses without getting pre-approved first is like going to a destination without a map or driving directions. YOu need to know how much purchasing power you have, meaning how much house you can afford to buy, and what types of loan programs you qualify for. If you are interested in buyer foreclosure deals or other similar properties which now sell for very good prices, you want to make sure you are qualified to buy these type of properties, as there are certain requirements necessary to qualify.
Please save yourself the time and money driving around without a map (=without knowing exactly how much you could afford to buy and what type of house you are qualified to purchase). I'd be more than happy to refer you at my lender at Wells Fargo ,the largest lender in the country right now, to get prequalified. If you have more questions, and wish to speak further, feel free to contact me directly on my cell at 757 609 5674. I've worked successfully with many buyers, as I am a Certitified Buyer's Specialist, I have the training, the knowledge, and the necessary experience to guide you through the entire process of purchasing your first home. If you'd like to know more about purchasing and real estate in general, I'd be more than glad to set up a free buyer consultation with you at a time that is convenient for you. If you want to read some testimonials about my work from my former buyer clients, please click this link http://www.yourmultilingualrealtor.com/Testimonials/page_173…
or this link
http://www.linkedin.com/references?mrp=&posID=77665738&a…

I look forward to hear from you soon.
0 votes
Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Fri Apr 6, 2012
How would it sound if I said, “I want to drive to the beach but don’t want to put gas in my car?”

Last year I had a couple come to me after they sold their existing home and wanted to buy another one. They weren’t even close to qualifying for the loan they wanted.

Have your Realtor introduce you to the loan officer they trust the most. Gather all of the support documents that will be needed to apply for a loan and meet with the LO face-to-face, have them walk you through the process and options available, good luck, home this helps,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
JSimms@cmcloans.com
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time.
Web Reference:  http://jamessimms.com/
0 votes
Candy C. Den…, , Norfolk, VA
Fri Apr 6, 2012
Good Morning K Smith. I hope you and yours are well. It is always int he best interest of a purchaser to meet with a loan officer prior to looking for a home to purchase. Why? Because you can then learn what programs are available to you as well as the price range that you will need to stay within. Also, when you do find your home, you already have a lender that can write a "qualification letter" so the seller will know you have the ability to purchase. Most sellers in our market require a pre- approval letter or letter of qualification prior to accepting an offer. That being said, most lenders are more than happy to sit and counsel perspective buyers so that you can make an informed decision. At Long & Foster, we have a partnership with Prosperity Mortgage the Nation's 17th largest lender. So, if I can be of assistance, please don't hesitate to call. I have a wonderful office of very qualified, reputable agents and can put you in touch with someone who will take excellent care of your needs. Best of luck and thank you for your consideration.
Warm Regards,
Candy C. Dennis, Sales Manager, Long & Foster Norfolk/Suffolk
candy.dennis@longandfoster.com 757-623-2500
0 votes
Jthomas, Home Buyer,
Fri Apr 6, 2012
While it is standard for buyers to verify financing prior to visiting homes, it should be said that many areas are looking at lower than normal inventory. With that being said, I would suggest searching while you establish financing approval. Many people have a general understanding of what monthly payment range they are comfortable with and a Realtor can translate that into sales price easily. If you are ready to begin the search I would love to help. I have a dedicated team of lenders who work with my buyers throughout the process to ensure WHEN we find your perfect home, you are fully qualified to make and offer.
When you are ready to begin, please give me a call.
Best,
James Thomas
Realtor
Rose and Womble Realty Company
direct- 757.477.6668
desk- 757.547.1234
email- jthomas@roseandwomble.com
call, text, email 24/7
0 votes
Jo Cross, , Chesapeake, VA
Thu Apr 5, 2012
Hello K Smith:

You definitely want to speak with a lender first. This will give you an opportunity to discuss all of your financing options and determine the mortgage loan program that best suits your needs. The lender will obtain a copy of your credit report and run additional numbers based upon your income and debt. Once everything is reviewed, the lender will be able to write a letter on your behalf stating you have the ability to purchase a home in a specific price range or price.

By optinion your mortgage letter first, you will be in a better position when you offer your contract to a seller. Please keep in mind that the seller wants and needs reassurance that you have the financial ability to purchase his home. Having this letter will give the seller that comfort.

If you would like additional information, feel free to contact me.

Warm Regards,

Jo Cross, ABRM, CDPE, CRB, CRS, GRI, ePRO
Managing Broker
Coldwell Banker Professional, REALTORS®
636 Cedar Road
Chesapeake, VA 23322
Mobile: 757.652.9700
Office: 757.410.5411
Reply to: jo@jocross.com
Website: http://www.jocross.com
Licensed in Virginia
0 votes
Katherine Jo…, , Warwick, RI
Thu Apr 5, 2012
Most people find the home of their dreams only to find out that they don't qualify for that house. It would be best to get pre-qualified, as this will give you an idea of how much you can spend and it will also allow you to find the very best home for a price that you can actually afford. Then go for it.
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Thu Apr 5, 2012
I suggest you get your loan approved before looking at homes. Sellers for the most part will not even entertain an offer from a buyer who is not pre approved for a loan. Second you need to know what price range to look in. Your agent will also want to know how much you are approved for so they can taylor searches to your exact budget.

Best of luck to you.

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Mary Lee Alm…, Agent, Chesapeake, VA
Thu Apr 5, 2012
Looking for a home before being preapproved for a loan is putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. However, you might identify a Realtor with whom you would like to work because we know good mortgage brokers that will help you with the loan process, and can work well as a team to assure you a positive outcome in your home buying. I have a couple of excellent lenders and I can give you their contact information if you just call.
Marylee 409-0259
0 votes
Alain Picard, Agent, Puyallup, WA
Thu Apr 5, 2012
You should get pre-approved from your lender first and then start looking for homes. That way you know how much home you can afford and what homes to look at.
0 votes
Moy Lopez, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Quincy, MA
Thu Apr 5, 2012
It very easy to fall in love with a home you can't afford. If that happens, everything else will seem like a step down. Best to get pre-approved. Find out how much you want to spend each month and what that will translate to in terms of a price of a home. Now find out what kind of home that price will get you in the towns you want. Not happy with your findings, then up your budget or move to a less expensive town. Or buy a home that needs some TLC but is in a great neighborhood with renovation loan.

Getting pre-approved will give you the confidence that you can afford the home you select. This will drive the stress level down and you will be able to enjoy the home buying process a lot more.

Good luck!
0 votes
Sandi Thigpen, Agent, Chesapeake, VA
Thu Apr 5, 2012
It's always best to get your financing pre-approved. That way once you start looking for a house, you'll know exactly how much home you can buy. You don't want to waste time (and emotional attachment) looking at homes you can't afford. Ill be glad to help you with your search for your new home if you're not working with a real estate agent.
0 votes
Robin Gauthi…, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Thu Apr 5, 2012
Yes. You should find out the same day how much you are approved for. There is nothing worse than finding the perfect home for you only to find out you cannot get the financing to buy it. I specialize in working with first time buyers. Feel free to call or email me at robinsoldmyhome@gmail.com and I will point you in the right direction and give you some good references for a lender.
0 votes
Deirdre Love, Agent, Chesapeake, VA
Thu Apr 5, 2012
Hello. Your lender can easily give you a preapproval that will tell you the price range you should be looking in. Its always great to get out there and see what you like.
If you would like some assistance, please let me know. I would love to help. Thank you
Deirdre Love
Realtor
Keller Williams
757-633-7350
0 votes
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