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3 Things You Can Do To Hit the Ground Running When Buying a Home

Shawn Von Talge


If you are currently in the process of shopping for a home you may be experiencing some of the unfortunate side effects that have resulted from the recent drop in mortgage rates. More specifically, the bottoming out of interest rates has caused a surge in home buying activity across the board, which in turn has created highly competitive and fast-moving real estate markets in many areas. So what can you do to put yourself in the best position to capitalize on today’s fast moving inventory of homes? Below are three basic steps you can take when embarking on your home search that will help you be prepared to move quickly once you find your dream home.

1. Get preapproved for financing through a qualified lending professional prior to     beginning your home search.

This not only ensures you are able to purchase a particular home but also prepares you for the type of financing available, your loan options, your approximate monthly payment at a given purchase price, etc. But more importantly, having the preapproval in hand when submitting your offer to purchase a home puts you in the best possible position to having the seller accept your offer as it will reassure them of your ability to complete the purchase.

2. Round up the basic set of documents that will likely be required for formal approval on     your home loan.

Although the lender cannot require you to provide these documents for the sake of issuing you a preapproval letter, gathering them up now will allow your lender to get a much clearer picture of what loan amount you qualify for and what (if any) potential obstacles should be addressed now so they don’t cause issues after the formal loan process has begun. With this in mind, below is a list of documents your lender may require in order to issue formal approval on your home loan:

▸ One Month of Your Most Recent Pay Stub(s)

▸ Your Federal Tax Returns for the Previous Two Years

▸ All W-2s, 1099s, K-1s, etc. (as applicable) You’ve Filed in the Previous Two Years

▸ Your Two Most Recent Monthly Bank Statements

▸ Copies of Your Driver’s License and Social Security Card

▸ Any other pertinent asset statements you wish to provide (i.e. 401k, IRA, stocks, etc.)

3. Seek the services of a qualified Realtor.

Selecting a realtor you are comfortable working with and that you are confident will do a great job for you is extremely important to starting the home buying process off on the right foot. How you go about finding and selecting a realtor to work with is completely up to you; just make sure to ask a lot of questions upfront so you can get a feel for how they operate (i.e., will they be available to show you properties on days/at times that generally fit with your schedule? will they be responsive to calls and emails after normal working hours? etc.) and their expertise/knowledge of the local real estate market. When all is said and done your realtor will undoubtedly have a significant impact on your home buying process; perhaps most notably which house you ultimately end up purchasing and how favorable the purchase terms are to you. As such, it is going to be in your best interests to properly vet any potential realtor upfront before formally deciding to work with them.

Thanks for reading!

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