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Now that we've covered the first step of the home search process (hiring a real estate agent), we'll take a look at each of the next steps that you'll go through before you can move in to your new home.
After hiring an agent, the next step will be talking to a lender to find out what your financing options will be.
A lender can help you determine which loan types would work best for you, tell you what price range you can be approved for, and give you an accurate estimate of what your monthly payments will be.
Once they run the numbers, they will be able to send you a “Pre-Approval Letter”, which we'll need so we can get started looking at houses. Many sellers only allow Pre-Approved buyers to view their home, and even when the seller doesn't require it, we want to be ready to make an offer once we find the right house! And since we can't make an offer without a Pre-Approval letter, we would risk someone else getting the house before we can even put in an offer.
The amount you'll need for a downpayment will vary depending on what type of loan you get. An FHA loan is one of the most common, and typically requires a 3.5% down payment, but you'll need a minimum of 3% for any conventional loans. There are also several 0% loan options available to military buyers through the VA and also for homes in rural areas through the USDA, as well as some downpayment assistance programs if your income falls below certain levels.
But while I'm very familiar and knowledgeable about the loan process, a lender will be able to look at the specifics and better answer any questions you have about the different types of financing available to you.
Have you spoken to a lender yet? If not, I'll be glad to recommend a couple of lenders who have done great jobs for many of my clients.
Just let me know if you'd like me to put you in touch with someone to find out what your financing options are!