So you are ready to start looking for your new home. You will need to get pre-approved before most realtors will show you anything, however getting pre-approved is not your first step. I think it is important to talk with your realtor about what mortgage company to use.
Realtors will know of smaller mortgage companies who are great to work with and will help your closing go smoothly. Do not make the mistake we made by thinking we should just go with the huge company that we bank with. In our experience with the big bank we worked with the loan changes hands so many times as it is going through the approval process, we felt out of the loop, and could never get someone on the phone when it really counted. The worst part was even though we had been clear to close, when we walked into our closing it had been taken away and we were not sure we would close that day, but we did 6 hours later. That is not to say that things don’t ever go wrong with smaller companies but most likely your realtor will recommend someone who they work with all the time and will be able to get them on the phone easily, and things will go much smoother.
Before you meet with the loan officer determine your budget. I would decide what you are aiming to spend and also a max amount you are willing to spend and can afford (NOT the maximum amount you can get approved for). Ask yourself what you are looking for in your new home. Can you afford a higher payment then you are already paying? Use a mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payment, don’t forget to add in home insurance and HOA fees. We estimated $1000 for insurance (in metro-Atlanta) and we actually pay about $750 for a year. Zillow has a calculator you can use.
Next go sit down with the mortgage company and get pre-approved. They should issue you a letter to give to your realtor. Now let the fun part begin…finding your new home!
Happy Home Hunting!
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