Deciding that you want to buy a home is not really the first step in home ownership and your path to personal wealth. Before you even start looking at homes, you need to get prequalified. Your REALTOR can help you decide what type of lender you want to prequalify you, but going through the steps to get prequalified will help you decide if this is the right time for you to buy a home. The interest rates may be right and homes may be available, but your financial future may not be ready….yet. Here’s the example I like to give my clients:
You’ve decided that you want to go on vacation. You have packed the car, got the snacks, boarded the animals, got the mail and newspapers on hold. Your destination, Disney World in Orlando, FL. You have your vision, but you haven’t yet looked at all the small goals that have to be met: 1) are you driving straight thru? 2) If your going to stop along the way, where? 3) did you book a hotel along the way 4) are you going to sleep in the car 5) did you book a hotel at or around Disney World? 6) Can you car handle the trip? 7) Can you afford the expenses to go to Disney World? 8)Do you have enough gas
Taking off looking for a home without getting prequalified is just like jumping in the car and heading for Disney World without checking the gas and looking under the hood. Once you check out your car you might find that it won’t make the trip so you change your destination to Sea World in San Antonio, TX and make it a day trip.
Getting prequalified will make your home buying experience go a lot smoother. The lender will be asking you specific questions regarding debt, income, etc. Gathering the information they will need may take you some time to find. Having your taxes, and banking records at your fingertips helps a lot. Their guidance on your finances will help you determine the price range you can afford. Most sellers will not even consider an offer unless they have proof of financing or funds available(bank statement for cash buyers). By making this step number one you will be ready to search homes in your price range and make an offer with your REALTOR right when you find one.
Live Life to the Fullest,