When you enter the market as a future home buyer, you know getting a mortgage pre-qualification is one of the most important steps. Your mortgage will help you with your home finances, and it will also guide you in terms of your budget. So, what can you do once you’ve been pre-qualified?
It might seem like the pre-qualification process itself was a big hurdle, never mind actually buying a home. You’re right – a mortgage pre-qualification is a super essential aspect of owning a new home. For better or for worse, there are still lots of steps left before you walk in the front door of your new house. With your pre-qualification in hand, you’re ready to move on to those final stages of securing your home-to-be!
Secure a real estate agent
Your next step is making sure you have a great real estate agent on your side, especially in today’s busy market. Realtors are amazing resources for finding homes in your budget and helping you put in offers. They speed up the process by taking a lot of work and stress away from you.
If you don’t have a real estate agent, find one now! It can be overwhelming trying to narrow down your options if you have nobody in particular in mind. In this case, you can ask me for a few agents I would recommend. As a broker, I have connections with lots of realtors and can give you the names of those I have had the most success with. Take advantage of brokers’ knowledge!
Find your perfect home
You’ve been pre-qualified, you know your budget and you have a realtor. Now, you need to find a home! Work with your real estate agent to narrow down the areas and housing types you’re interested in. It’s good to keep your search relatively simple and as specific as possible, so you can move quickly through the market.
It’s also important not to look at homes outside your budget for a couple of reasons. First, you’ll face major disappointment if you fall for a home you can’t afford. At the end of the day, it’s a waste of time to look at homes you can’t have. Second, you’ve only been pre-qualified for a certain amount. You’ll risk your chances of getting that final loan if you go for a home beyond that.
Make your offer!
Here comes the super exciting (and maybe stressful) part of buying a home – making an offer! Your real estate agent will help you put in an offer once you find a home you love and want to call yours. When your offer has been accepted you’ll need to secure the approval for your mortgage. The great thing about being pre-qualified is that getting the approval should be a quicker process. Your broker already has most of your relevant information, so you’ll save yourself time when time matters most.
Keep your financial situation steady
Throughout the entire process of getting pre-qualified and searching for a home, make sure you keep your finances the same. You’ve been pre-qualified based on what your broker knew about you at the time, so do your best to keep your situation steady. This means avoiding new credit cards and taking out new loans. It also means not missing any payments and preferably not changing jobs. A career change might make your lender reconsider how steady your income is, especially if your salary is expected to change. Basically, don’t do anything to increase your debt or put your financial situation into question.
Don’t rush…but don’t delay
At the end of the day, you want to strike a balance between taking your time and rushing into buying a home. You shouldn’t commit to a home you don’t truly want. On the other hand, it’s best not to take too long to make up your mind in this market.
Keep in mind that your pre-qualification may need to be re-visited if you don’t find a home right away. If there are changes to your financial situation that occur, be sure to let your broker know. Reviewing the pre-qualification shouldn’t take long to complete. Since competition is so intense with low housing supply, it’s not a good idea to waste any time when you can avoid it.
There’s still a lot to do once you’ve been pre-qualified. Most of it is exciting, because it means you’re well on your way to owning a home! Of course, it can also be a bit stressful. If you have questions about the mortgage process, feel free to contact me! You can get in touch with me here.