Hello, my boyfriend and I are house hunting. Should we be talking to a loan officer first or just keep looking until we find something?

Asked by Kbrown130, Queens, NY Wed Feb 6, 2013

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Michael Rich…, , New York, NY
Thu Feb 7, 2013

You should definitely be talking to a loan officer for 2 reasons. First, so you know how much you can afford and don't waste time looking at properties that you cannot afford. Second, without a pre-approval letter, you will have trouble being taken seriously and having an offer accepted. No seller wants to take their property off the market and then find out a month later that the buyer does not qualify for a mortgage.

Michael Richman
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker
KIAN Realty
450 7th Avenue Suite 1501
New York, NY 10123
212-757-8268 x220
1 vote
Nina Harris, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Feb 7, 2013

My suggestion would be to start talking to a mortgage broker now to see how much home you can truly afford and then start your shopping. This way you will not waste a whole lot of time looking at homes that are not in your budget.

Good luck!
1 vote
Fajardo Dela…, Agent, Flushing, NY
Wed Feb 6, 2013
I have sold my share of listing in the Queens,Brooklyn and Long Island
in the New York area. Please feel free to call me and we will work on them together.
I just need a few seconds to sit with you.

Please just give me a call as soon as you can.

Fajardo Delacruz
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Century Homes Realty Group llc
Direct Line: 347-932-0609
1 vote
, ,
Wed Feb 6, 2013
Good evening Kbrown130,

Here's my Primer for First TIme Buyers based on my 23 years experience as a Mortgage Banker:

First steps:

1. 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.

2. Get a referral to a good, local, real estate attorney. Call the attorney, retain the attorney so you have her information handy when you make an offer. Having that information at time of offer helps you demonstrate to the Seller how serious you are, and they will consider your offer with more interest.

3. 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.

4. 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!

Good luck!
Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
Mobile: 516-582-9181
Office: 516-829-2900
Fax: 516-829-2944
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
185 Great Neck Rd, Suite 240
Great Neck NY 11021
Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services

If you thought my answer was helpful, please give me a "Thumbs Up." Thanks!
1 vote
Vincent Paige…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Wed Feb 6, 2013
Get pre-approved so you know what you can afford!!!

1.) Gather all of your paperwork. Bank statements, pay stubs tax returns, W2s and sort them into an organized file.
2.) Call/Meet with a mortgage professional so that your credit history, assets, work history and buying power can be evaluated and determined. Obtain your pre approval letter.
3.) Based upon this meeting and pre approval letter you will have a clear idea of what purchase price you will be able to afford.
4.) Today's lending climate provides two choices: FHA (3.5% down of purchase price ) or Conventional (20% down of purchase price).
5.) There is no specific criteria restricting the amount of money that a first time homebuyer's pays in a downpayment.
6.) With a good and experienced agent, you (as a first time homebuyer) will be able to navigate through the mortgage loan process and close on your first home successfully.

Highest and best regards,

Vincent Warren Paige, Jr.

REALTOR® | RE/MAX Showcase

8934 Conroy Windermere Road | Orlando, FL 32835

Direct: 407.256.8190 | Fax: 407.264.8073
E-mail: vpaige1@yahoo.com
1 vote
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed Feb 6, 2013
Be aware that a mortgage pre-approval letter is required in order to determine your price range and for any offers to be taken seriously, therefore begin by visiting with any licensed loan officer; also choose an agent to work with, he/she will be your best guide....
1 vote
Thomas Brady, Agent, Plainview, NY
Wed Feb 6, 2013
Hi Kbrown, as everyone has stated you should definitely get pre-approved before starting to look at homes to buy. It's very disapointing to start looking and find something you like and then find out that you can't get a mortgage for that amount. When you start looking at lesser homes it will be a big let down, conversely if you look at homes for less than you can afford you would also be wasting your time. You want to get pre-approved through a reputable company and then start shopping, it will make the whole experience more fun and exciting rather than stressful and unworkable. Good luck!
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Notary Public, Retired N.Y.P.D. Lt.
#1 Listing & Selling Brokerage in NY
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
255 Executive Drive - Suite 104
Plainview, New York 11803
1 vote
William Rugen, Agent, Holbrook, NY
Wed Feb 6, 2013
Yes, you should absolutely contact a loan officer before viewing properties. Unfortunately in this credit atmosphere what you think you may qualify for may not necessarily be the case once you speak to a reputable loan officer. If you don't know of any, contact myself or any other buyer's agent in order to refer you to someone who can assist you. Best of luck!

William Rugen
Century 21 Princeton Properties
1 vote
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Wed Feb 6, 2013
Shanna hit it right on the head...find out how much you can afford FIRST. Get pre-approved and ask your Loan Officer how much you can borrow, so you know the TOP of what the bank will give you. Then you can make some decisions on HOW MUCH of that you WANT to spend (being "house poor" is not typically desireable). Remember, also, that it is quite common for people's income to go up with time, so stretching now for the RIGHT HOUSE could be worthwhile, knowing that your salary will grow into it. If you're in a position where you know you can reasonably expect your pay to increase, that may be a safe bet. Best of luck...
1 vote
CamilleD, Agent, Wantagh, NY
Wed Feb 6, 2013
Yes, absolutely talk to a loan officer. This way you won't waste your time and your agents time.

As an agent I run across this all the time and mainly with first time home buyers.

That is what the loan officer is there for. Please get your pre approval in writing also so if you stumble across a good deal you are ready and won't lose it because you were not prepared.

Good luck. This is a great buyer's market.!!!!
1 vote
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed Feb 6, 2013
You should meet with a local and trusted loan officer BEFORE looking at homes. You want to make sure you can get a loan and know what price range you should be looking in as well as what type of condition the house has to be depending on what type of mortgage you are getting.
1 vote
Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Wed Feb 6, 2013
H Kbrown130,

If you are not paying all cash, get your pre-approval first. This lets you know what price range you should be looking in. Also, when you submit an offer, most (if not all) sellers want you to submit your pre-approval letter with the offer. So, if you don't have that available, you may lose the property to another buyer while you're waiting to get it.

Good luck.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
1 vote
Thanks for the quick response. Also if we are approved how long will that approval be good for?
Flag Wed Feb 6, 2013
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Sat Feb 9, 2013
You need to get pre-approved for a mortgage otherwise when you find a home you want; you won't be ready to make an offer.

I hope you're working with an experienced buyer broker, (see link below) the right broker will save you time, money and minimize problems. They can also suggest several excellent local lenders to you.

Best of luck and happy house hunting.
0 votes
opondomusa, , 10020
Sat Feb 9, 2013
Yes you should be talking to a loan officer.Once you've selected your lender, you can proceed with pre-approval. As opposed to pre-qualification, where a lender determines that you are credit-worthy, pre-approval is an actual verification that you have qualified for a specific loan.
Why the emphasis on pre-approval? Because the "waiting game" is perhaps the greatest stress of all when it comes to buying a home! While you can't control whether or not the seller will accept your offer (or if he will counter with an outrageous offer), you can reduce a great deal of stress if you have already been pre-approved.
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Wed Feb 6, 2013
Dear K Brown,

By all means, do not look at anything until you have a FULL pre-approval (not a pre-qual). The difference is a full pre-approval is based on the verification of your income tax returns, bank statements, wage stubs and credit score.

A Full pre-approval will put you into the same classification as a cash buyer.

Until you have a full pre-approval you won't really know what can realistically be purchased.

If you need the assistance of a mortgage broker/banker (they can either fund the loan themselves or additionally, have the ability to place you with another lender that meets your criteria), call Brian Tom of Cliff Co Mortgage Bank (he is a partner) at 516-941-0213 or btom@CliffCoMortgage.com.

If you need any further guidance, feel free to call at any time and I will be happy to provide it.

Gail Gladstone
0 votes
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