Can you imagine anything more frustrating than falling in love with a house only to discover you can’t afford to buy it? The first step to take before house hunting is meeting with a qualified mortgage lender. Most buyers will need a loan to finance their purchase so it is really important that you prepare before you start to look -- Once you are comfortable with what you can afford, you can focus your search and make a move when you find a home you LOVE.
Get a pre-approval letter before you start shopping – lending standards have tightened up significantly since the housing crisis, so most sellers only accept offers from buyers with full pre-approval verification.
The best lender explains all your loan options and counsels you on improving your credit profile if necessary. They offer good advice on how to handle your finances between the time of your application and the day you close escrow on your new home.
Always be honest about your finances and responsive to requests for information, no matter how unimportant it may seem to you. The more co-operative you are with a lender, the easier the loan process. Prepare your tax returns, W2’s, bank statements and employment history.
Your loan amount will be based on a debt-to-income ratio and credit scores, but it is important that you feel comfortable with the monthly loan payments, property taxes and insurance.