How early should we look into getting approved for a place?

Asked by Guadalupe Grijalva, Santa Clara, CA Fri Jul 19, 2013

So me and my boyfriend, who lives in Southern California right now and I live here in Santa Clara want to find a place together here. But are unsure of how or what to do about trying to find a place together.

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Juliana Lee, Agent, Palo Alto, CA
Sun Aug 18, 2013
When trying to get a rental, the landlord will surely want to see your credit report. It would be a good idea to make your credit look as good as possible and with no recent late payments. Since you already live in Santa Clara you are probably at least somewhat familiar with the local cities and housing market.

You should probably start educating your boyfriend about the local rental market. It doesn't make much sense to try and find a place to rent until you are ready to rent it. Most landlords make a fairly quick decision among the people who apply. Just send links to places that you think would be nice so that he can express his opinion and the two of you will have a consensus of what you want to rent.

Santa Clara home values at
Santa Clara just sold information at

Juliana Lee
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty, the nations largest
Cell 650.857.1000

Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County
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Susan & Sabr…, Agent, Redwood City, CA
Tue Jul 23, 2013
The first step to homeownership is to make your budget and speak with a lender to determine how much money a bank will loan you. Once you know your budget and your loan, you provide that info to your Realtor and they can help you see what those numbers look like in homes. You want to be comfortable with your mortgage payment and the change in your budget before the house hunt. That way you can focus on properties you can comfortably afford and work from there.

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Eric Nelson…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Campbell, CA
Sat Jul 20, 2013
Hello Guadalupe,

The next natural step is to meet with a mortgage professional so you can determine your buying power and what you qualify for.

The process is fairly quick, as the items needed would be your credit report, income and assets for review. Once this is completed, these items are sent to a lender for a pre approval, and this is what gives you the buying power when looking for a home.

The Bay Area is certainly a competitive market to buy or to rent in, so the best way to go is to be very well prepared by having your pre approval, or a realtor who specializes in rentals if you do not intend to buy at this time.

Good luck in the search and please advise if I can be of assistance.


Eric O. Nelson, III
Sr. Mortgage Planner
NMLS #120412
DRE # 01258488
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Jamie Mueller, , Lancaster, NY
Sat Jul 20, 2013
When you're ready to start looking, go ahead and contact a local mortgage representative. You'll need you'll need to be preapproved for a mortgage before anything else. This will also help you in your search as you'll know how much you'll be able to spend.
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Dennis Evans, Agent, Clifton Park, NY
Sat Jul 20, 2013
This should be one of the first steps you take... they are time sensitive... But at the same time... you can get it updated at a later date... Most sellers and Realtors want to know that you are able to purchase the property before you ever go to showings...
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat Jul 20, 2013
You should probably know that "pre-approvals" are time sensitive and do have an expiration date. It's advisable that you clarify this with your mortgage consultant and plan your home search accordingly. Being re-approved upon expiration is generally not a problem. What enters the picture is the fact that you interest rate will not be guaranteed and thus could increase....costing you more money during the term of the mortgage.

Hope this is helpful.

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David Allen…, Agent, Sunnyvale, CA
Fri Jul 19, 2013
If you are buying. Before you do anything else you need to hire a professional banker/mortgage broker who can look at all your assets and income and tell you what you can buy. Then provide you with a confirmation of the amount you qualify for. This is your very first step.

If you are renting then you need to make sure you have clean credit. If you don't you need to clean that up before wasting your time finding a place. You have to qualify for a rental or a home purchase FIRST if you can't then don't even bother looking.
Good luck
Cheers on the new place!
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John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Fri Jul 19, 2013
It looks from your profile that you will be looking for a place to rent. If that is true, the suggestions of the other agents below don’t make a lot of sense.

Try doing an internet search – Google, Bing, whatever – for rentals in the area in which you want to be in. Specify homes, if that is what you want. In any event, you will get lots of results. Make some phone calls. Go see the properties. Ask questions of the landlords.

Check Craigslist for your preferred area. Be careful of scams. Beware of below market rents and supposed landlords who cannot show you the property because they are out or the area or out of the country. They will ask you to fill out a rental application without seeing the property or send money in exchange for promised keys. Don’t be fooled!

Also, do an internet search for property managers in your preferred area. Call some and talk to them about what they may have that could fit your needs.
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Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Fri Jul 19, 2013
Well the first thing you do is schedule a free no obligation consultation with a real estate consultant. The meetings I have with perspective buyers last about 1 to 1.5 hours. They walk away with an 80 book of what to expect, and find they have questions they didn't know they should ask.

After meeting with a Buyer agent the agent will give you recommendations on a lender and that team will assist you with expectations, cost, timelines, etc.

Have an amazing day!
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Elva Wormley, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, San Jose, CA
Fri Jul 19, 2013
Hi Guadalupe,

The first step would be to speak with a mortgage professional to discuss your qualifications and loan options.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information. I can be reached at (408) 615-8500 or email at

Best regards,

Elva Wormley
Mortgage Consultant
C2 Financial Corporation
2845 Moorpark Avenue, Suite 209
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 615-8500
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