9 out of 10 First-Time Homebuyers can’t see homes on the market in-person because they don’t have the required documentation on-hand prior to starting to shop for homes.
The result? An excited and frustrated first-time homebuyer who can’t see the home they fell in love with because they haven’t “officially” started the home buying process.
Don’t spend weeks, months, even years preparing to buy a home, and miss the FIRST, and most important step:
Obtaining a Mortgage Pre-Approval!
If you’re a serious first-time homebuyer, looking to truly start the home-buying process, you’re in the right place! This is your first step.
And if you’re like millions of individuals who will need to depend on a mortgage to purchase a home, you’re going to love the guidance in this blog post to help you finally get started.
The five steps to obtaining a mortgage pre-approval in 24 hours or less:
- Do a financial self-audit:
There are a few bare minimum things you need to check off the list to be technically ready to buy a house, and you either have them or you don’t. But, we recommend speaking to a licensed loan officer regardless of whether you think you’re ready or not because if you’re serious about buying a home, they are the ones to point you int he right financial direction.
And a financial self-audit will help you determine just how close you to getting started.
- Have I been at the same job/industry for 2+ years? Stuff happens, so don’t fret if you’ve had to bounce around, especially in the last two years, but what the lenders want to see is consistency. Can you prove, in writing, that you have been consistently employed?
- Do I have filed tax returns for the previous two years? Yes, in addition to the paystubs, W2s, and 1099s, your lender will want to see your filed tax returns. In most first-time homebuyer programs, the lender will retrieve your tax info from the IRS directly to cross-reference.
- Can I prove my income? This means paystubs, W2s, 1099’s, checks, and whatever else you think you need to show a lender that you are earning a consistent income.
- Have I been making consistent payments only credit cards, car notes, and everything else on my credit? Your credit doesn’t have to be perfect, but you have to at least show that you can pay the loans that creditors provide to you. All it takes is a few good items on your credit to help weed out the past mistakes. If you’ve been making an effort, catching up, paying stuff off, and paying on time, you may be closer than you think. Even if you have some delinquencies, collections, or old charge-offs, you may still qualify to buy a home, but obviously having a good payment history with your debtors goes a long way for getting approved for a mortgage to buy a house.
- Do I have 3-10% saved up to truly buy? Yes, if you’re lucky, you may find a seller who will help with closing costs, etc. But the reality is that it is your responsibility to be finically ready to buy and pay for a home. If you get lucky, find a willing seller, and our Agents are able to negotiate closings cost help? BONUS. But if not, it is always the responsibility of the Buyer to pay for all the preliminary home-buying inspections, the 3-10%+ down payment (which cannot be borrowed or given by a seller), and the closing costs. How much exactly you will need to have saved up is determined by the loan officer during the mortgage pre-approval process.
2. Find a licensed loan officer that is a hustler (active, ready, and eager to serve you).
Use social proof to see who is on their game. Look at their online activity, as well as reviews wherever you can find them. The loan officers that live for their jobs will consistently post value on social media, and make it known through the all the inter-webs that they are waiting for Buyers to reach out.
Try calling and texting for faster response. When you do talk to someone you think you may like, ask them what their turn-around time is for a pre-approval. Obviously, if you really like them and it takes longer than 24 hours, stick with it. But just keep in mind that it doesn’t take that long to provide a pre-approval once you’ve done your part, too.
3. It will work if you do the work, too.
This is the most vital part of obtaining that pre-approval. Do the work! Fill out the loan application and provide all required documentation to the loan officer ASAP. That loan officer is going to be your BFF until you close. Don’t ignore calls, emails, or texts requests. Give them what they need, so they can tell you if you’re ready or not.
4. Ready or not, keep going.
If you’re ready, the lender will provide you with a pre-approval letter that states up to what price range you can purchase a home in. You can then send that to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on house-hunting. We will stay in touch with your loan officer and all other third-parties involved, from start-to-finish, to ensure a smooth closing.
If you’re not ready? The loan officer has everything they need to guide you, and tell you exactly which steps you need to take to prepare yourself financially to buy a home.
Remember, whether you think you’re ready or not, find that licensed loan officer and start the home-buying conversation. Don’t be scared-off by all the bullet points and words in this article. We promise you it’s not as hard as you think! Get on the phone with a loan expert, let them privately assess your situation, and they will guide you in the direction of your new home. And when you’re ready, we’ll be here waiting.
Ready to get started? Not even sure how or where to find a good licensed loan officer? We can help with all that. Book a Free Consultation today.