I just began my house search. When should I explore pre-qualifying for a mortgage?

Asked by Nick, Wayne, PA Wed Jun 27, 2012

I am in no hurry, as I have 9 months left on a lease and am willing to wait for the right property. I don't want to begin mortgage shopping too early in the event that my search outlasts my pre-qualification (I don't want to have to apply again every few months and potentially damage my credit in doing so).

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Nick & Trudy…, Agent, Devon, PA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
As you have nine months left on your lease, use the house search more for education of pricing, what you get for a particular price point, so when you are ready you will know a good deal when you see it. I would suggest calling a mortgage provider now and simply find out what you might qualify for so you know your price range and don't waste time looking at things you cannot afford. This should not affect your credit, they only need to run your credit to actually pre-approve you. You can also use a mortgage calculator, found on most real estate sites. Also when visiting open houses look for a realtor you like and can feel comfortable working with. I would interview several and ask what services they offer, how many buyers they represent at any one time, if they work with first time buyers, etc. Check these agents for reviews on line and have fun during the search.
0 votes
Alan Openshaw, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Southampton, PA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
Hello Nick,

I don't know whether you have an 800 credit score or a 620. I don't know whether you have been salaried or self employed. I don't know whether you have 5% to put down or 50%.

I do know that you do not understand everything about the mortgage process
I do know how to get you to be in the best position to buy a house in 9 months.

Asking certain questions about your situation and explaining the importance of these makes you amore educated buyer with a better chance of getting approved and at a good rate.

I got a call from someone yesterday who wanted to buy a house. I declined them in two minutes. Good income, good credit and they had a down payment. They should have called me 6 months ago and they would have been approved today.

Call me and I can make sure that doesn't happen to you.

Alan Openshaw
Cornerstone Lending Inc
Southampton Pa 18966
215 953 0800
cell 267 992 7276
NMLS ID 143960
0 votes
Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Wed Jun 27, 2012
If your credit score is so close to the minimum threshold that a mortgage inquiry on your credit report kicks you out it may be time to slow down and fix whatever is causing that.

You need to work with real numbers based on the facts so establishing the bench line up front is important, get started now in case there is a problem that requires attention. Then just dust off the application when you are within the time frame your lender needs to process the final application. Use a local lender your Realtor trusts the most and have your application meetings face to face so you can review and ask questions. Good luck,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
0 votes
R. Eric Axel…, Agent, Cherry Hill, NJ
Wed Jun 27, 2012
Hi Nick, I agree with you. No need to get prequalified just yet, but we should run your credit in case there are things on there that need to be addressed. I can have it done for free. At the same time, I can tell you ballpark how much house you can afford.

We can then go over the search process so you understand every step of the way. We can also begin keeping an eye on towns or types of properties so you can really get your feet wet with understanding the inventory that is out there.

The other point is that if you find the PERFECT property for the right price, you can consider breaking your lease (paying in full in advance) as part of the cost of purchasing the home.

When the time comes, I specialize in all price ranges on the Main Line, and you get luxurious service!

I also want to throw out that we could grab a cup of coffee sometime next week just to talk shop. Thoughts? Please email me as I do not always monitor these feeds.

Eric Axelson, Associate Broker
Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty
Web Reference:  http://kurfiss.com
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Sherry Kotvis…, Agent, Riverside, CA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
In our area it can take 6 months or more to get into a house due to our market primarily being short sales. Start to interview agents now and find out about your particular market conditions. They can help you establish a time-line. Once you have chosen a Realtor to work with ask them who they use for a lender as well. You can also use your own lender but most agents like to yes their preferred lender-partner. It just makes the transaction and process go that much smoother . Good Luck!

Sherry Kotvis, MS
Allison James Estates & Homes
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Marcello Fin…, Agent, Wayne, PA
Wed Jun 27, 2012

since your lease is not going to expire for 9 months, I would wait to start looking seriously for a home purchase, unless you are willing to forfait some funds in order to terminate your lease early.

You can get a conventional mortgage in 30 days with most lenders, so even if you wait a few months, you should have plenty of time to find the " right one ".

Let me know if you need any help, my office is right in Wayne.
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Dexter B. Ad…, , 19401
Wed Jun 27, 2012

You have valid questions/concerns. Let's distiguish though between Pre-qualified and Pre-approved. Pre-qualified means that you've spoken with lender and given them enough details about your income, assets, desired down payment, 'estimated' credit score, etc so that they can provide you with some estimate of Sales Price range, down payment, and mortgage payment. This way you're not looking at potential homes that don't match your qualification.

A Pre-approval is more in depth.and does require a credit check and review of income and aset information to be accurate and solid.

I would recommend getting Pre-qualified early in your search, and Pre-approved once you're really serious about a couple houses.

Please let me know if I can help.
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Kathy Mittel…, Agent, Hixson, TN
Wed Jun 27, 2012
When house hunting it is always a good idea to be prequalified and ready to make an offer when the right house comes along. As you have 9 months left on your lease, it is too early to start that process but you could still find out what paperwork is need and have that ready for when you choose a loan officer. I usually advise my clients to talk to more than one bank and see what different fees are involved and a loan officer or mortgage calculator on line can help you fine tune your house hunting search to the right price range for what you feel you would like to spend each month on a mortgage, property taxes and home insurance. Good luck!
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Ilya Zamarin, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Philadelphia, PA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
Hello Nick. You should get pre-qualified immediately. It is always better to get a full approval prior to searching. The reason is it takes a lot of paperwork to get an approval these days. If you start searching for a house without knowing what you are qualified for, you might not be able to bid on a house you like, and the seller might not even want to consider your offer without a full qualification.

I am a local Realtor. I can help you with your house search. I can also refer you to a mortgage broker / lender that might be able to assist you with your mortgage approval process. Please let me know if you are in need of help with your search, I will be more than happy to assist you.


Ilya Zamarin
DAN Real Estate
541 W Butler St
Philadelphia, PA 19140
email: yourbrokerilya@aol.com
office# 215-225-7000
cell# 215-858-1018
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Wed Jun 27, 2012
Agreed - having the discussion now will guide your early search. It is important to have an understanding of the constraints of your budget and a discussion with a lender will take care of that. Also, it will identify possible opportunities to improve your credit picture and with 9 months to go, you have time to do that. Either way, it will assure that your time in early searching in spent in a productive way --- getting a sense of the market in within your budget.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes
Edmund Choi, Agent, Paoli, PA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
Pre-approval will define the price parameters of your search. Good Hunting!
0 votes
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