Many buyers begin their home search the WRONG way. We make assumptions as to what we can afford. We assume that our credit is either very good and that we can afford what we want or that our credit is very bad and we can't afford anything. BEFORE you begin looking for a home, we recommend that you go to a lending institution and get yourself pre-qualified. Why? This helps you know WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD and takes all the guess work out of the buying process! It also helps you to be considered a willing and ABLE buyer when you place an offer on a home, giving you more bargaining power!
Pre Qualify for your loan before you look at homes! This way you know what you can afford and will look at appropriate properties. Most foreclosure and pre-foreclosure offers will not even be presented without a pre-qualification or proof of funds.
Partner with Experience
Choose an agent that will help you to make a wise investment. Real estate IS an investment. Let someone help you who is an expert in the field. You will save time and money, as well as avoid some pretty common mistakes made by people without knowledge of the market.
Location is key
Think about where you want to be. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Realize that LOCATION is the most important factor in choosing real estate. It is important when you buy it AND it is important when you sell it!
What do you need versus what do you want? Depending on your finances, you might need to put necessities as priorities with an eye on adding the "wants" to your property later.
Lender vs. Broker
Also, consider whether to use a mortgage broker or a direct lender. Direct lenders are the companies, like banks, who actually make you the loan. They may or may not charge origination fees and various loan fees. Mortgage brokers do not actually loan money, but shop the loan for you. They will try to find the best rates and terms to fit your financial needs. They charge for this service and the charge will depend on the broker, so check that out up front. The lender that they use will also likely charge origination and loan fees on top of the broker fees. As a general rule, if you shop around between direct lenders and mortgage brokers you can find the best deal. It is not a difficult process.
When choosing a mortgage company, keep in mind that those with a local presence may be able to get the job done faster and more efficiently. Our market in SW Florida is different than in other parts of the state or country. Local companies understand the market here and have relationships with the real estate community. As an agent, I also have more pull with the local companies in order to be able to be of more help to you.
A mortgage company has certain contractual responsibilities to your real estate transaction:
- They need to provide a pre-qualification letter to the agent within a set period of time, usually only a few days from the time the contract was executed.
- They have a deadline for giving a final loan approval, or loan commitment.
- They must have a complete loan package to the title company or attorneys office in time for the closing to take place. Closings can take place by mail. If the closing is a mail away closing, the loan package needs to be at the title company at least 3 days prior to the closing date.
- These dates are fixed dates. Missing any of them can result in the contract being void. Usually extensions are granted if a date is missed, but there are times when the entire deal falls apart because a mortgage company is not responsive. Choose your mortgage company wisely!
If you shop for a loan, make sure you do it right at the beginning of the contract and do not waste any time. Changing lenders after the process starts will likely result in deadlines being missed. It will usually take at least 20-30 days to get a loan commitment once you apply to a lender. The majority of the closings in this area take place from 4-6 weeks from the time the contract is executed. That does not allow much additional time!
The lenders listed below are only a few of the good lenders in this area, and by no means represent the entire market!
|Name||Company||Primary Phone||Email Address|
|Chris Squicciarini||Genesis Lending Group||239-839-3828||