Buyers often go “shopping” for a new home thinking that “if they find something, then they will get a loan to buy the house.” In effect they have no solid idea what they can afford or what the interest rate may be. When they find a house it is often under contract to someone else before they can qualify and get a “Lender Letter” from a lender and decide if they can afford the house they have found. Realtors will often say “You have to lose the first house before you will get serious and understand the process.”
Life is much simpler if one selects a lender and gets “qualified” first. Now you have a partner, a lender, and you know the terms and what you can comfortably afford. Now when you find your new home you can write an offer and provide the lender’s letter along with a copy of your escrow check to demonstrate to the seller your ability to complete the purchase as outlined in your offer. An offer without a Lender Letter will not be seriously considered by a seller.
To make the purchase process operate smoothly and trouble free, start by working with an established, professional Realtor. Your Realtor can suggest good area lenders who can provide quick credit reviews and a Lender Letter. Then work with that Realtor to find the house of your dreams.