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Buying A HomeHave you ever looked for information about buying a home on a real estate site? Now for fun, look up the same information or guide on a financial site or mortgage site. Sometimes each industry might emphasize their selection of a local real estate or mortgage professional as a beginning step depending on which site you are on. For most of us, mortgages will be major factor in our home ownership, so let’s start there.
Which Comes First? The Realtor or The Loan?
This is like the “chicken and the egg” idiom. For most of us, financing is a necessity and perhaps why you are here reading this. If that is the case and you are unable to obtain financing or mortgage, it does not matter the home you desire. Mortgage professionals need real estate and real estate pros need great mortgage service. This is a battle for your attention because of the potential or possible influences either industry might have if you commit to them first. Call the real estate agent first and they will tell you that you will need to get pre-approved prior to looking at the first home. Why? Because unless you have the money to close the real estate transaction, this will end up in heartache and frustration for you as well as wasted time for your agent. Real estate professionals know that it is very taboo to present offers without any preparation for financing. Many agents have either an affinity arrangement with an inhouse lender OR have very good, independent mortgage professionals to serve you as well.
Let’s try the other way now. Research and commit to the loan and lender first, then seek the real estate agent and home. Why? Numbers and costs are NOT emotional at all. There are not hardwood floors and A+ schools in mortgage numbers. This is the best place to start to set your realistic goals for housing expense and closing prior to becoming emotionally attached to a specific home.
A great example or comparison is how you buy a car from a car dealer, currently. You go in and discuss needs and are shown vehicles that match your emotional needs. It is only after you have selected the car itself, (like a puppy), that the financing is discussed and agreed upon. Why is this effective? Because you are emotionally attached to that car. That emotional choice weighs heavily against a battle of logic. Now, go into the same dealer with financing or a check for a specific budget and the dealer will gladly sell you a car that fits that need. The main difference will be that you will not be shown cars that do not qualify for your request because it is not a match. This simple decision can help avoid a lot of buyer anxiety. I used to ask my clients one simple question: “At what monthly payment will you reach for an air sick bag?”
They told me a monthly payment not to exceed and I converted it into the mortgage dollar amount for them. Then I advised them if they qualified for more and many of them would chuckle about how much more money they could borrow; however, now they were ready to make a fully educated decision about an emotional purchase. Knowledge is power.