Welcome to 2021. How many of you have new year’s resolutions? I don’t have any. Instead, I have goals. I prefer goals over resolutions. A resolution is defined as a firm decision to do something, and the word I don’t like out of that definition is ‘decision. That seems movable to me, so I instead like the black and white defined lines associated with goals. Properly set goals are measurable, defined, attainable, relevant and timebound.
How many of you have a goal of buying a house in 2021? Today’s column will focus on some steps to take in preparation for achieving this goal. It’s important to note the sequence is significant, especially if you are a first-time buyer.
Step 1: Find a reputable and trusted loan officer
This is important as a good loan officer can make all the difference in your home-buying experience. Whether you’re buying your first home or your seventh home, a good loan officer can cater to exactly what you need.
Step 2: Get a credit consult with your loan officer
This isn’t a pre-approval yet, it’s a credit check and also complimentary. If you have near-perfect credit that’s great because you can expect this phase to be a quick process! If you have less than near-perfect credit, this may take 15 to 30 minutes to learn some things for you to work on to improve your score.
Step 3: Know your loan options
This isn’t a pre-approval yet. Instead, this is a thorough discussion with your loan officer to determine things like:
Down payment requirements
Components of mortgage payment (principal & interest, escrow, PMI)
Special programs for certain segments of borrowers and locations
Processing & underwriting sequences and timeline expectations
Step 4: Know your buying power
This isn’t a pre-approval yet. This leads up to the pre-approval, and it will help you and your agent save a tremendous amount of time with your home search. Knowing and understanding your budget limits will eliminate the ‘I wonder if we could afford that house.’ question.
Step 5: Get an awesome real estate agent
There are thousands of real estate agents to choose from. Finding a great one is very important. This is a very trusted position, so you want to take it seriously. A great agent can be the difference maker between you getting your dream home versus a money pit.
Step 6: Get pre-approved
Finally, right? If you’ve done these other steps, the pre-approval process is practically done already. If you haven’t finished the other steps, you can still do a pre-approval, but it may take a bit longer. This process will outline what documents you need to round up in preparation for underwriting. While underwriting doesn’t start until you actually find a house, this preparation makes the process painless. And yes, it’s true-6underwriting can, in fact, be painless.
Buying a house may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be, so use these steps as a simple road map to get to your destination. Getting started might seem challenging, but making that first call to a loan officer will clarify exactly what you need to do. The entire team at Fountain Mortgage really enjoys getting to know our clients and giving them several scenarios for their specific financial situation, so feel free to call our team to get started!
This weekly Sponsored Column is written by Mike Miles of Fountain Mortgage. Located in Prairie Village, Fountain Mortgage is dedicated to educating, and thus empowering, clients to make the best financial decision possible for their situation. Contact Fountain today.
Mike Miles NMLS ID: 265927; Fountain Mortgage NMLS: 1138268