14 — Say you saw it in The Real Estate Browser of Lynchburg — Volume 8 Number 12 www.LynchburgRealEstateBrowser.com Pre-Approved to Buy? Why Bother? By Sherry Brady, NMLS 217258, Branch Manager, Summit Mortgage Corporation x One of the first things you need to do once you decide you want to think about buying a home is to talk to a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage loan to buy a home. Even if you don’t think you’re seriously looking yet, meeting with a lender will help you determine what your options are. A lender can help you determine such things as: what types of loans and how much you will qualify for, what will your monthly payment be, will you have to make a down pay- ment, what are the closing costs, and how long will the process take...just to name a few. By talking to a lender, you’ll get the answers to these and many other questions that will allow you to shop for your home with confidence, and less stress! Why is it so important to get pre-approved before you find a home you like or even go to the first “Open House”? Because once you open that door and start looking at homes, you never know at what point your dream home is going to find you. You could look for months, or it could be the very first house you walk into that turns out to be “the one”. Once that happens, you’re going to want to put an offer in on the home as soon as possible so that you don’t risk losing it. That’s when you Realtor is going to ask for the letter saying you’re pre-approved for a mortgage loan - if they haven’t already asked. This is where you could have a challenge if you haven’t talked to a lender in advance. If you have great credit and have found a home in a price range that fits your budget, you’ll be able to get the letter you need fairly quickly, but if you have any credit challeng- es, or have overshot the budget, the process could take much longer, and you may not even be able to qualify for that priced home. Even if you already know that you have the credit scores and financial ability to buy a home, working with a lender – especially a local lender – can help you determine what you projected new monthly payment will be and help you to be certain it fits within the budget. Nine times out of ten, monthly payments that you see online for homes are inaccurate because they are based on a set of criteria that may not represent you. Common assumptions for online payment quotes are: credit scores above 740, at least 20% down payment, and no escrows for taxes or home- owner’s insurance. This is an unrealistic pay- ment quote. Very few people put 20% down, and whether you have the real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance built into your monthly payment (escrows) or not, you still have to pay those things, so you need to consider the cost of them. Working with a local lender can help you determine the true monthly cost of your housing. Having a pre-approval tells both your realtor and the seller of the home you wish to buy that you are serious – not only do you want to buy, but you have the financial ability to buy. And by getting pre-approved, we can begin your loan approval process early, before you find the house, so that once you find the home you love you’ll be able to get to closing quicker! Call us or a local lender today to get on the road to your new home!