Q: What’s the First Step in the Home Buying Process?
The first step in the home buying process is talking to a lender.
Now that you’ve decided to buy a home, it’s time to take the first step in the home buying process: talk to a lender.
The best thing you can do is get pre-approved so you know what you’re looking for in terms of price. If you’re looking to buy a condo, for instance, you’ll know what monthly payment you can afford so you can figure out whether the monthly HOA fees work for you.
"The last thing you want is to fall in love with a home only to find out later on that you can’t afford it."
This is what really matters when searching for a home. A lot of real estate websites out there will show you the principal and interest payments, but they won’t show you the other fees or monthly costs associated with buying a home (insurance fees, taxes, Mello-Roos payments, etc.). Speaking with a lender lets you know exactly what you can afford.
Certain neighborhoods fit into certain price points, so if you can only afford a home up to $450,000, that might price you out of various areas, but you’ll have the freedom of knowing what you can buy. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a home only to find out later on that you can’t afford it.
Also, if you want to write a strong offer, a pre-approval letter is an absolute must. For sellers, this verifies that a loan officer has inspected all of your financial information and that you’re a sure thing as a buyer.
If you’re looking for a great local lender, we’d be happy to refer you to one we trust and work with frequently. You can ask them about first-time homebuyer programs, compare interest rates, get an estimate of your closing costs, etc. Asking about these things up front will give you a clear idea of what you’re getting into.
If you’d like to talk more about the home buying process or have any other real estate questions, feel free to call or email me anytime. I’d love to speak with you.