Houston First-time Homebuyer Step #1: Get Pre-approved

Norhill Realty September 23, 2011

Buying a home in Houston for the first time doesn’t have to be a complicated or stressful process.  Follow our simple steps, and you’ll be taking it easy in your new home in no time at all.

Getting pre-approved for financing is the first step that the Houston first-time homebuyer must follow.  It’s actually very simple.  Contact a bank or mortgage broker to get the process started.

Where do you find a mortgage lender?

Talk to your Realtor, friend or family member for a referral.  You want someone that you can trust to provide expert advice and great customer service.   Most lenders are able to offer comparable interest rates and loan programs.  In my opinion, it’s better to go with a lender that you know will give personal and professional customer service versus one that has a fancy brand name.

So how does the process work?

All you need to do is complete a loan application which can be done over the phone or online in about 5 minutes.  Your loan officer will ask you questions about your income, assets, and credit scores.  Most loan officers will actually request copies of your W2s, pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements just to make sure that everything adds up with your application.  The loan officer should be able to get back to you within 24 hours of your application to tell you where you stand.

So why is getting pre-approved so important?

First, you need to know that you can get a loan to purchase in the price range that you are expecting to buy.  Sellers are not willing to enter into a sales contract with a buyer unless they have the confidence that the buyer has the funds and/or the ability to get a loan.  Second, this process will help you establish your budget.  It doesn’t make sense to look at $500,000 homes if you can only get approved up to $300,000.  Third, your loan officer will be able to review all of the loan programs that are available to you that you might not even know about.  For example, some lenders offer special financing programs for doctors, attorneys, and CPAs.

This is the first post in our ongoing series aimed to provide help and guidance to Houston’s first-time home buyers. Click here to check out the 2nd Step for Houston’s First-time Homebuyers.  Or if you would like to speak to a real live human about these questions and steps, fill out the form below.

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