February 5th, 2009 4:03 PM by Diego Quintero
The next three blogs will deal directly with the home-buying process. I will discuss the procedure quite generally, so if you have questions please feel free to comment online, send me an email, or do what many others have done - pick up the phone and call me. I would like to hear from you anyway!
The first steps are fairly simple. The first thing you need to do is get a pre-approval. Some agencies call this a loan commitment, a loan status report, or a conditional loan approval. It is basically a form that represents a loan amount that you can afford. Many mortgage brokers will give you the 'maximum' loan approval, be careful! Please make sure that it is something that you can afford and want to afford.
In order to obtain a loan commitment, your mortgage broker will request your full name, date of birth, present address, and your social security number. This is to review your credit report and discuss any findings. Furthermore, the broker will be able to obtain your FICO score, which will ultimately determine whether you are 'bankable' or not. If you are scoring a 720 or greater, you are doing very well and will be able to obtain the best financing available. Visit my site map, and look for "What is my Credit Score," to get more information on FICO scores.
Your pre-approval will also entail the submission of your personal documents such as: the last month of pay stubs, the last two months of bank statements, the most recent portfolio account statement, and the last two years of tax returns and Form W-2's. These are integral to obtaining loan approval and in today's tight credit markets, banks are being more careful to review this data.
After you have obtained your loan approval the next logical step is to work with a Realtor. Your mortgage broker will be able to refer you to a seasoned professional, always ask! Your real estate agent will follow your lead. Is there a particular town that interests you, a specific neighborhood, or a specific home? This is a great time to share your desires and listen to professional opinions about those preferences. Feel free to interview the agent, if you need to make sure that he/she is the best fit for your family's needs. Afterall, you are trusting this person with a very large investment.
The common phrase used to buy a home is "location, location, location." Use this philosophy as you keep in mind the costs or the time to drive to your favorite destinations. Where are family, friends, schools, work, professional sporting venues, or even your favorite restaurants in relation to where you want to live? In the event of emergencies, it is always helpful to be close to home. There are lots of factors to consider when choosing the right house so make sure to ask lots of questions.
I am always open to writing about the topics that you want to read about. This three-part series is a request from Connecticut. Keep a look-out for the two segments that follow. We will discuss topics regarding 'making offers' to 'obtaining appraisal reports,' and more. Read on!
As always, feel free to call, email, or post a comment online! Take care everyone!
Your friend & mortgage broker,
Diego L. Quintero