We often see people come in with a variety of different expectations when it comes to the home search and the pre-approval process. One of the most important things that will be a part of the process for you, is managing your expectations and being thorough.
The first step should be engaging with your loan officer. This will help guide you in the right direction as you search for your home and it’s important to know what’s available for you in terms of loan programs, down payment options, rates, closing costs and any other costs that may be associated with the loan. Closing costs will depend on the loan program you choose and there are several costs outside of your down payment that you should be expected to be prepared for. Once you’ve thoroughly reviewed your goals and available loan programs, you should move onto the next step.
If you are not working with a realtor, you should be! See KCM’s article on some of the reasons why here. Your realtor can provide a variety of services that you may not be aware of. Most people look online through various online databases when searching for a home, and there are many problems with this process. Your realtor can give you access to off market properties, local knowledge, and many other pieces of information that are not readily available. If you are not working with a real estate professional than you are doing yourself a disservice. If you are looking for a trusted real estate professional, but do not have one, please consult your loan officer for guidance.
Once you’re past this point, identify potential properties for your loan officer. This is helpful because it allows them to provide real scenarios for you and tangible numbers to review. You can see a variety of options for loan programs ranging from down payment, to rate, to closing costs, to prepaids and escrow items, to your monthly payment.