First Time Buying a Home – Start by Talking to a Lender

First Time Buying a Home – Start by Talking to a Lender

Recently I was browsing through Realty Times and came across an article published by Carla Hill called First Time Buyers Do’s (find the article here). I decided to read the article as I’m particularly fond of real estate articles about first time home buyers. Mostly, I’m jaded, rather than fond, because many of the real estate articles that address this topic that I have seen leave out the most important step of all – getting in touch with a mortgage lender first before you do anything – this includes buy a home using a VA loan, a FHA mortgage – and most certainly a conventional mortgage.

  • Check your credit
  • Get prequalified
  • Will you qualify?

Check your credit

While Hill’s article covers some nice “do’s and dont’s to get you started” as a first time buyer, not once was it recommended that you should contact a mortgage company to see what you qualify for or to find out if your credit is okay (are there any surprises you don’t know about on your credit report that would prevent you from getting a mortgage)?

Get pre-qualified

In today’s mortgage lending environment, if your real estate agent doesn’t have you get pre qualified first before they talk to you about the type of house you want and the price range of house you want they may be setting you up for a huge letdown. Imagine getting all excited about a home that you want to make an offer on only to find out that you do not qualify for the price range.

Will you qualify?

Mortgage program requirements concerning credit, income and assets are tight here in 2010. As such, you do not want to kid yourself in thinking that qualifying for a mortgage is a piece of cake – no matter what your scores are or your income. Unless you are paying cash, you would best serve yourself to speak to a mortgage person first to ensure that you really do qualify and for what price and payment range you really do fit into.

Look around

Once you have this information in mind, you can legitimately look at what kind of house you want and what price house you can afford. You can also look at putting together your wish list and your needs list. And once you have gone through all of the things leading up to finding the right home for you and your family’s needs you can put in an offer with confidence versus hoping for the best.

This site is for informational purposes only. It is not sponsored or in any way affiliated with the government. If you are in need of a mortgage loan, consult with a licensed mortgage professional. All fair housing and equal housing opportunity laws apply when applying for a mortgage or buying a home. Copyright 2012.