By Don Carriker
One of the biggest mistakes a person can make when starting the steps in the home buying process, is to go out shopping for a home before they get pre-qualified for a home loan! Most people get so caught up in the excitement of shopping for their new home that they don’t realize they are putting the cart before the horse. They may spend hours of their time and their Realtor’s time looking for that perfect home, only to find out that they do not qualify for a home loan due to some unforeseen obstacle or new guideline.
So What’s The Big Deal?
Well, the big deal is that everyone wants to have a pleasant home buying experience, but if a buyer begins the process by looking for their home before getting pre-qualified, then they run the risk of making the home buying process much more difficult and potentially frustrating for the buyer, the Realtor’s, the sellers and even your loan officer.
Let’s play out a scenario so you can see what can happen if you look for a home before knowing if you are qualified to purchase that home:
- You go out and find the perfect home you have always wanted only to find out that the lender can’t prove you can afford it. How does that make you feel? Are you upset? Of course you are!
- So now you are upset! You are upset at the lender because he/she can’t get you the home loan you want to buy that nice home you just fell in love with. You are upset at the Realtor for leading you to this home that you can’t buy. All parties involved are now upset over a situation that could have easily been avoided.
- Now that you have found the perfect home you can’t buy, you can’t get it out of your mind. Nothing else you look at in the price range will compare. Now, instead of having a pleasant buying experience, it has turned into a disgruntled experience for all involved.
- More than anything, you have brought undue stress upon yourself. You have created a situation for yourself that could have been easily avoided if you would have known the best practice when buying a home.
So What Should You Do?
Get Pre-Qualified FIRST! Put the horse in front of the cart where it belongs. Before you ever begin looking at homes and meeting with your Realtor, meet with an experienced mortgage consultant who can get you fully pre-qualified. Make sure you choose a mortgage consultant who is not only willing, but able to educate you so you understand the entire loan process and all the options you have available to you. Once you have met with your mortgage consultant, you should have a much better idea of what you can afford, what kind of loan you qualify for, and feel much more relaxed as you go out shopping for your new home!
By getting pre-qualified first, you will now know how much home you can afford. It will also speed up the loan process, because your mortgage consultant will already have your information when you do find a home. Now, you will be able to meet with your Realtor, tell them what kind of house you are looking for and what your mortgage consultant has pre-qualified you for. This will make their job much easier in finding you the best home for your money.
I can’t stress enough how following these steps in the home buying process will make your home buying experience an easy and effortless process. Just be sure you find a qualified mortgage consultant who has your best interest at heart. Not a salesman, but one that is truly interested in making the home-buying task as painless as possible for you.
Buying a home can be a joy! Just make sure you know what you can afford before you start shopping. You will be much more relaxed and confident and it will allow everyone involved the ability to get you into the home that you want on the budget you have.