I probably get this question asked at least once a day from not just my clients but my neighbors, friends and family members. Although my lending days are now over I feel I have to share from my experience in dealing with both disappointed sellers buyers and their agents. For your own emotional protection, let me just share a few reasons why you should talk to a lender before you embark on the home purchase journey.
The most obvious reason you should see a lender before you embark on the “journey to home ownership” is simply so that you know how much home you and your family qualify for before you get emotionally attached to your next home! Wouldn’t it be catastrophic (and it has happened a lot) to find the home of your dreams only to find out that – you can’t afford it? Wouldn’t that be a bummer?
Fear not! There are so many great lenders out there. Align yourself with a great one by interviewing a few before you make a final decision. Have a list of questions prepared for each lender you are interviewing. The inquiry process is free and so should be the application process. Be wary of anyone who wants to charge you a fee or pull your credit before you are comfortable with the lender of your choice. Ask LOTS of questions! You are making one of the largest transactions of your life. Work with someone you trust and will provide you with not only exceptional service but will ensure the following:
Educate you about loan programs and financing options available – there are many!
Is responsive! Returns your calls and emails in a timely matter – are they going to make your transaction easier and not harder?
Provide great rates and pricing for your particular financial picture – the better your credit the cheaper the loan
Provides you the required documentation in a timely matter – very important so there are no delays in the processing of your loan
Is clear on payment options and details of your particular situation
Research your lender(s) or loan officer on the NMLS Consumer Access page and on Social Media – chances are that if they are awesome at what they do, you will find plenty of information online in to help you make a decision.
These are just a few reason why you should talk to a lender before you go on our great adventure of home ownership. Once you and your lender of choice have the conversation, you will have your pre-approval letter and all the information that you need to start looking. NOW you are ready to call that agent to start the search for that perfect new home.