First Time Home Buyers- Pre-Approval

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This week, I am beginning a series of blogs that focus on first time home buyers. I bought my first home more than 5 years ago, and I still remember many of the questions, misconceptions, and concerns that I had about buying a home. Thankfully, I had an amazing real estate professional who was able to successfully answer all my questions and calm all my concerns. I’d like to make first time home buyers who are now in the same place I was just a few years ago, a bit more aware of what is involved in buying a home and where to start. We’ll begin at the beginning: Pre-approval for a loan.


Many first time home buyers want to jump right in to what is often the fun and exciting part of buying your first home: shopping! However, as any good shopper knows, you have to know how much money you can spend before you start looking. In the case of buying a home, you need to be pre-approved for a loan. Although there are tons of payment calculators on the internet, only a bank or mortgage lender can tell you how much of a loan you can actually qualify for since there are so many factors taken into account.

Start at your bank where you can speak to a loan officer or at a reputable local lender (Contact me if you need the information for loan officers in the Statesville/Charlotte area). Banks and Mortgage Brokers offer different types of loans so contact at least one of each for information. Have preliminary meetings with a few, ask them any and all questions you have, compare, and shop around. You need a loan officer who is first and foremost knowledgeable and up to date on current loan types, regulations, restrictions, red tape, etc. You also want a loan officer who is quick to get back to you (within 24 hours is ok, a week later is not) and keeps you informed as quick communication can become crucial in getting your loan to close in the future.

Some things you will need to be pre-approved:

•Earning statements (1099 or W2 forms) for the two previous years

•Tax return information for the two previous years

•Bank account numbers, balances, statements

•Pay stubs for the current year

•Verification for any other form of income

•Statements for current debt (student loans, car payment, credit cards, etc)

This list is really just the beginning as qualifying for a mortgage these days does require a good bit of verification; however, having all of this information ready for your loan officer is a great place to start! Lenders do like to see consistent employment over the past three years so that their risk in loaning you money is less. Most importantly, be completely truthful and upfront with your loan officer! He or she can only help you and give you advice based on the information that you give.

Once you have that pre-approval letter and you know your budget, come see me to buy your piece of Statesville real estate!