So You Want to Buy a House? Part I

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

Buying a house is not something to be done on a whim.  Ideally, you've taken some time to think about 

  1. why you want to buy
  2. where you want to buy and
  3. are you really ready 

If you've asked and answered any of these questions, that's a good start.  But where do you go from here. 

The first thing you want to do is call a professional in the industry.  A real estate agent is usually a good start.  Why a real estate agent?  A real estate agent can guide you through the entire process.  You'll have to be upfront with the agent so that they can best help you.  But one of the first things that they will recommend is that you contact a lender.  

The agent may have some names and numbers of lenders or mortgage brokers that they have worked with and although it is not an endorsement of the lender's services, it is just an indication that the referred company and the agent may have worked well together on other transactions. 

You'll want to contact a lender or broker to complete a mortgage application so that you can be pre-qualified for an estimated loan amount.  Pre-qualified simply means that the lender/broker has obtain such information from you such as employment, length of time on job, income from employment, additional income and they'll pull your credit.  Using the information that you've given them, they can determine whether it looks like that may be able to finance a home for you.  I final approval cannot happen until an appraisal has been done. 

The preapproval determines how much money the lender is willing to loan you to obtain the house, once you find it.  It's important to remember that no matter what you prequalify for does not mean that you find a house at the maximum amount of your preapproval. 

We'll stop right here for now, but check back for the rest of the "So You Want to Buy a Home" series.

Originally posted by Charita H. Cadenhead on Posterous (January 20, 2010)

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Location:
Alabama Jefferson County Birmingham
Groups:
1st Time Buyers
Tags:
birmingham first time home buyer
what to do first
loan officer or real estate agent

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Charita Cadenhead
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)
Keller Williams Realty

Thanks Mike.  Buyers have to start someone,  Better with an agent or a lender than anywhere else.

February 26, 2010 08:30 AM
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Gerry Michaels
GettysburgGerry Social Meida
Glasswork Media Arts

Charita, I am a strong constant advocate of knowing what you are approved for and beyond that taking that number from the bank and seeing if you can really afford that much. It makes the whole process smoother. I remember when clients thought they could put the down on their credit cards....crazy

February 26, 2010 11:59 AM
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Charita Cadenhead
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)
Keller Williams Realty

Gerry we should always head toward pre-approval first.  There was a post today that suggest that the buyer start with the loan officer and that prompted me to post this from my Posterous.  To me it doesn't matter if the buyer starts with the agent or the loan officer, as long as it's one of the two.  As for the credit card, seems like I heard something like that years ago.

February 26, 2010 12:05 PM
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Sheldon Neal
That British Agent Bergen County NJ
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited

Nice guide for those starting out Charita !

All the best :o)

February 26, 2010 12:41 PM
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Charita Cadenhead
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)
Keller Williams Realty

Hey Sheldon.  They've got to start somewhere. 

February 26, 2010 12:58 PM
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Charita Cadenhead

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