If you are looking to buy a home in Charlotte, North Carolina, here are a few things you should know. You should start with the home loan before looking at the first house! No you dreams at night of owning a mortgage loan in Charlotte, but you can’t own a home without the loan to pay for it. If you don’t know exactly what you can qualify for you stand a great chance to wasting time and being disappointed. Starting with the home loan in Charlotte will allow you to zero in on the right houses faster and will give you confidence through out the process!
Getting your loan approved before shopping for a home seems backward to many homebuyers. It actually is the best way to start the process! I had a client just the other day that wanted to get pre-approved. I started running some preliminary numbers for them and pulled their credit. Everything seemed to be going great… then we ran into a road block. After looking at the customer’s income documentation I discovered that they did not actually make as much as they initially told me and had to lower the amount of their loan… the problem was they had already found a house! Imagine the disappointment… they had been looking at a home over $300,000 but could only qualify for $225,000! Trust me, there is a big difference between what $350,000 and $225,000 can buy you in Charlotte! Having their loan approved BEFORE shopping for a loan would have saved them time and most importantly… heartache!
Another great benefit of getting pre-approved with a LOCAL mortgage lender is that it gives you more negotiating power. A pre-approved buyer can close quicker and represents less risk to a seller. Who do you think will end up with the best price, a buyer who might get a loan or a buyer who already has one? Some sellers in the Charlotte market will not accept an offer without a pre-approval letter, especially banks on their foreclosure properties.
I know it seems like I am biased on this subject but think about it… does your loan officer make more money if you get approved before or after you find a home? ANSWER – it makes absolutely no difference, but it makes a HUGE difference in the experience for everyone involved. You get a smooth process with no surprises and probably a better price on your home! Your Realtor gets the opportunity to work harder on negotiating your offer and enforcing your rights without the distraction of worrying constantly if the loan will go through. The seller gets to relax a little knowing their house is almost sold and can focus on their move. EVERYONE WINS!
There is not one legitimate reason for a person to seriously shop for a home without getting pre-approved first… ok there is one. If you are paying cash! Other than that the loan should come first! Let’s look at a few common myths:
- Getting pre-approved dings my credit – FALSE, the initial pull does not make a significant ding and any further pulls for 45 days do not hurt you at all.
- Getting pre-approved costs too much – FALSE, getting pre-approved saves you time and money and Fairway Independent Mortgage does NOT charge you at all.
- Getting pre-approved takes too long – FALSE, most of my clients get pre-approved in less than 24 hours! Typically 30-45 minutes is all it takes.
- Getting pre-approved means dealing with a salesperson – OK, now you have just hurt my feelings. I am really nice… I promise!
If you are SERIOUS about buying a home in the Charlotte Metro Area, do youself, your Realtor, the seller, their Realtor and your loan officer a big favor and START with the home loan!