You’ve been thinking about buying a home for you and your wife or for your family. You download one of the popular apps and begin searching for homes in an area you’d like to live in. “Ooooh, there’s a really nice one! How much is it? Can I afford that? And there’s another one. Look at that awesome kitchen! And a three-car garage! I’m calling the Realtor® right now to go look at it!”
So you call the Realtor® who is very excited to show you the home. As you and your wife walk through it, you soon realize it has everything you want. Everything.
“So we’d like to know what we have to do next to purchase this home. It’s perfect for us!” “Have you talked to a lender?”, the Realtor® asks. “Uhh, no.” “Well, that’s Step 1.” But you’re already on Step 2. And by the time you complete Step 1, that perfect home has been sold, and every other home you search for doesn’t even come close to that one.
This scene plays out so many more times than it should. Because, honestly, as a real estate agent for more than seventeen years and also a broker, I still believe Step 1 should be, well, the first step—meet with a mortgage lender. The mortgage lender can get you pre-qualified for a loan very quickly, and the best part is you now know how much home you can afford so you won’t be wasting time searching in the wrong price range. Of course, this doesn’t apply if you’re paying cash for the home.
So who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters, unless they now have a mortgage company. Typically, you will contact either a mortgage banker or a mortgage broker. In simplified language, mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers are loan officers, but bankers use their own funds while brokers facilitate originations for other institutions. Which is better? Oftentimes a mortgage banker will have better rates and can process the loan quicker since they are using their own funds, but they can be limited to just a few loan packages which may not best fit your situation. The advantage of a mortgage broker can be they have access to many lenders, each with different loan programs so they can tailor the best loan package for your personal situation. I’ve had clients successfully use both throughout the years.
Don’t know a mortgage lender to call? I’d be happy to help you get started. Let’s get you pre-qualified or pre-approved for a home loan and then let’s go shopping for your next home. Call me, Good News Bob, today!