Searching for a new home is a lot of fun, but the financial side of things can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Having a good mortgage lender can really help simplify this process as they guide you through it. In order for your loan officer to give you the best experience possible, it is helpful for you to have some basic knowledge about what to expect before getting started. Here are some bits of knowledge you can hold on to that will help your loan officer help you throughout the process.
1.) Your mortgage loan officer should be the first person you contact.
When it comes time to buy a home, most people go to friends and family to ask for advice. From there, they usually go to the internet or around to different neighborhoods to look for homes. This is not the best practice and can often lead to confusion or disappointment. Contacting your loan officer first allows them to give you a sense of what types of homes you should be looking for. A mortgage loan officer can get you pre-approved for a specific loan amount and advise you on which loan programs will work best for you and your particular situation. Having this information before you start searching for a home will ensure that you are looking for homes in your price range and help you to know what to expect going forward in the process.
2.) Understand the value of a realtor.
Having a good realtor as part of your team will go a long way in helping you through the process. Real estate agents take the stress out of home searching because they literally do the searching for you. They take into account your budget, your lifestyle, and all of your other individual needs and wants and then use their knowledge and experience to find you a home that you’ll love. Start talking to friends and family about realtors they know. You want to find someone you know you can trust because they have already proven that they are reliable. If you don’t know of any realtors, or simply haven’t been able to find the right one, your loan officer will have a list of amazing realtors they trust and work with on a regular basis that they can refer you to.
3.) Have a basic knowledge of documentation required for the transaction.
In order to get your home loan through to final approval, much of your finances will need to be documented and verified. This documentation, which your loan officer will ask for at the beginning of the process, may include pay stubs, W2’s, tax returns, and bank statements. It is good to know where these items are and have them readily available so that you can provide them when necessary. This will help speed up the loan process and get your loan through to closing in a timely manner.
4.) Keep your mortgage loan officer in the loop.
You loan officer can’t help you if you don’t keep them informed. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your loan officer if you are unsure about something. They are happy to help and would prefer that you consult with them before making any major decisions during the loan process. They are intimately familiar with mortgage regulations and they know how to ensure a smooth process. Keeping them updated on everything that is going on will go a long way in helping them help you.
5.) Don’t make any sudden changes.
Don’t make any sudden changes without consulting with your loan officer once you have started the loan process. A large purchase or new debt can delay your closing or even make it so you no longer qualify for the loan. This is also true for job changes. Your loan qualification is based off of your current job and income. A drastic change in employment could put your home loan at risk. This will, at the very least, require re-documentation and re-verification of employment and income, which will take time. Even putting in a two week notice before the loan has closed could have negative effects.
Knowing and remembering these 5 things before you start the home buying process will ensure that your loan officer is able to give you the best experience possible. Your loan officer wants to help you and will be there to guide you every step of the way. If you have questions about the home buying process, or want to talk to someone about getting approved for financing on a home, please contact one of your mortgage loan officers today!