Why Pre-Approval Can Make or Break Your Home Buying Experience

In the market for a new home? Thinking about approaching a Long Island mortgage company? If you don’t have pre-approval, it can make or break your experience. Why does pre-approval matter so much? And what does it actually mean when everything’s said and done?

What Is Pre-Approval?

You’ve probably heard this advice before, but pre-approval really does matter. So, what’s it all about? Really, it’s a vote of confidence in your favor. It means that there’s a bank out there that’s provisionally willing to loan you up to $X for the purchase of a home. That carries a lot of weight with realtors and sellers. It’s also a good thing for you, the buyer. How?

Consider the fact that most home buyers start out simply looking at homes and neighborhoods. They’re considering different styles of home, different areas, different school districts, the distance to their job and other things. However, most of them aren’t really looking at the price tag, and they should be. Getting your heart set on a particular home and then finding out weeks down the road that you can’t qualify with a Long Island mortgage company for that amount is heartbreaking. It also means that you have to start the entire process over again from the very beginning.

Pre-approval ensures a different process. It means that you have a firm budget – one that’s not cobbled together on your end. Simply put, you know exactly how much a lender will consider offering you, and you can shop within those limits. It saves time, hassle and headaches.

Another benefit of pre-approval with a Long Island mortgage company is that not only are realtors happier to work with you, but they’re actually better able to lend you their expertise and experience. If you don’t have pre-approval and are simply looking at whatever catches your eye, the realtor doesn’t have the information necessary to narrow down the selection. He or she might show you homes that fit your buying requirements, such as the number of bedrooms, the type of neighborhood or the architecture style, but they lack the most important criteria – how much you can spend.

The Prospect of Derailment

Without pre-approval, you stand a very good chance of encountering disappointment in your search for a new home. We’re not just talking about a Long Island mortgage company not approving you for the amount of the home you want. We’re talking about realtors and sellers completely ignoring your offer because you are not pre-approved. According to Realtor.com, “If you’re not pre-approved and you find a home you want to make an offer on, you’re taking a gamble. Realtors and sellers are less willing to accept offers from a buyer without pre-approval. Odds are, they’ll go on to the next offer – and you’ll miss out.”

Pre-Qualified Is Not Pre-Approved

There’s a lot of confusing jargon in the financial world that a Long Island mortgage company can help you wade through. One of those terms that’s likely to trip you up is “pre-qualified”. It sounds a lot like “pre-approved”, but it’s not the same. Pre-qualification is really little more than getting a broad range of potential loan amounts from a lender. It’s not a firm budget, or even an offer of a loan. Pre-approval means that you have been approved for a specific amount. Pre-qualification doesn’t really mean much of anything.

Something Better Than Pre-Approval

By this point, you should be fully onboard with the concept of getting pre-approved for a loan with a Long Island mortgage company well before you start shopping around for a new home. However, there’s something that might be even better than pre-approval. It’s called “1st Approval”, and it is actually more powerful than pre-approval.

In this scenario, your information is submitted to an actual underwriter, who then approves your loan with some conditions. The most important condition, of course, is the address of the property that you want to purchase. When you find the home of your dreams, the information is updated. It’s a much more streamlined process than pre-approval.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to getting that dream home than just shopping around to find the perfect option. You need the right financial help along the way. Get in touch with Reliant Home Funding to learn more about the 1st Approval process and how it can dramatically increase your chances of getting the home you deserve.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

Home Buying: How to Get Started

Sick and tired of renting an apartment? Ready to truly get out there on your own? Maybe you’ve tied the knot and you’re thinking about starting a family, while realizing that your rental isn’t really the ideal place for that. How do you even start the home buying process, though? Should you just apply for Long Island home loans and hope for the best? Should you bother with pre-approval? What about pre-qualification? Are you even ready for homeownership?

Before You Start Shopping

Before you set foot out that door intent on comparing home prices and styles, you need to think long and hard about homeownership itself. It’s an immense responsibility. It’s not just the monthly mortgage payment or the insurance, either. You’ll be responsible for all maintenance and repairs – there’ll be no landlord to help you out in that regard.

Beyond that, you need to make sure that you’re planning to stay in the area for quite some time. A home mortgage is a long-term commitment, and while you can certainly sell your home and move, it’s much more complicated when there’s a house involved, rather than a simple rental agreement. If you’re not planning to stick around for quite a few years, renting might be the best choice for the moment.

Additionally, you also need to make sure that you’re in good financial shape before you even start the process to apply for Long Island home loans. How’s your credit score? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Understand that your credit score will affect a lot of things, ranging from whether a lender will even give you the time of day to the amount you’ll be required to use as a down payment.

It’s also not just about your credit score. You need to get a copy of your actual credit report and run down the items listed. Often, you’ll find old entries that should have been removed, and even debts that aren’t yours. Those issues need to be handled before you approach a lender, or even start looking at homes. If your credit isn’t so great, take the time now to rebuild your financial standing. Just the difference between 680 and 700 can have an enormous impact on what you’re required to pay as a down payment.

Know What You Can Spend

The advice is old, but still sound. Know your budget when shopping for a home. That means doing more than just figuring out what you can afford in terms of a monthly loan payment. You need to know how much you can afford to spend overall, the amount a lender will give you to purchase a home. Again, this needs to be done before you get your heart set on a particular house or piece of property, so avoid the heartache and get pre-approved for Long Island home loans first. Shop second, once you have your financial information in hand.

What we’re talking about here is getting pre-approved (or, better yet, using the 1st Approval program with Reliant Home Loans). Essentially, this is the first three-quarters of getting a mortgage loan in the first place. You’ll need the same documents and information, and a lender will tell you exactly how much they’re willing to offer.

With this information in hand, you know exactly what you can spend. It’s also important to note that this is the maximum amount the lender is willing to offer. You’re under no obligation to spend that much. Balance the pre-approved loan amount against your actual financial situation and determine just how much you want to pay for a house in the first place.

As a note, it’s very important that you shop around for Long Island home loans. Not all lenders are the same, and it is more than worth your while to compare your options before signing on the dotted line.

Work with a Real Estate Agent

Once you’ve been pre-approved for Long Island home loans, you need to find a pro to work with you in the home buying process. Yes, you can do it on your own, and save the commission the realtor will charge, but you’ll find that it’s actually well worth the extra cost to have access to the additional listings, professional help and other assistance a realtor can provide.

After you’ve seen a few houses and found one you like, you’ll make an offer. The seller will either make a counter offer, ignore you (unlikely if you’re pre-approved) or accept your offer. Then, it’s only a matter of time before closing rolls around, and you become the proud owner of a new (or new-to-you) home.

If you’ve weighed your options and decided that buying a home is the right step to take, get in touch with Reliant Home Loans to get started.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

7 Crucial Tips for Buying a Home Solo

The consensus is that buying a home is usually done by couples or families. It’s not for singles. However, while that might have been the truth in decades past, it’s no longer the case. In fact, more and more singles are choosing to buy their own home without anyone else’s name on the mortgage. Zillow points out that only about 40% of first-time buyers are couples.

Another piece of good news is that the buying process for solo buyers is pretty similar to that of couples or families, with a few noteworthy caveats. What should you know?

Get Your Finances in Order

Yeah, you knew it was coming. Your financial house must be in order long before you start shopping around or speaking with a Long Island mortgage broker about pre-approval for a loan. The reason for this is simple – if your financial situation needs work, you should get started now, and apply for loans later. You can save thousands, even tens of thousands, just by putting off the home buying process until your finances are ready.

Check your credit report, handle any erroneous entries, and take the time to pay down your debts. Check your credit score, as well, and bring it up if necessary. The closer to “excellent” you can get, the more money you’ll save and the better your interest rate will be on the loan.

Work with a Long Island Mortgage Broker

Next up, you need to make sure that you have the purchasing power necessary. Work with a Long Island mortgage broker to get pre-approved so that realtors and sellers are more apt to take you seriously. If you aren’t pre-approved, you will find that many simply shrug off your offer. You’re too much of an unknown for them to worry about.

House Hunt

Once you have a loan amount from your Long Island mortgage broker, it’s time to really dig into the process and start the house hunt. Remember that the loan amount offered doesn’t require you to spend it all. You also need to shop around and find the right home style for you.

Many of the options on the market will be geared for couples at least, if not for families. This could leave you with too much unused space. However, if you’re planning to start a family in the next few years, a larger home might make more sense. Discuss these considerations with your realtor, and he or she will help you locate homes that fit your needs on the market.

Have a Must-Have List

You’ll probably be shown a lot of homes, and chances are good that you’ll find something you love about many of them. It’s crucial that you have a “must-have” list with you. This is a list of features, specs and other items that you absolutely must have in a home. Keep that list with you during the process, as it will help you avoid making a decision based purely on emotion.

Check Out the Neighborhood

This is another of those time-tested pieces of advice that you’ve heard before, but absolutely must follow. Know the neighborhood. Is there an HOA? Are there covenants that prevent you from doing something? What’s the area like at night? Check into the wider area, too. How far is it from your work? What about shopping, dining, or even family and friends?

Negotiate

In many instances, the price of a home is not set in stone, and there is some wiggle room. The pre-approval gained from your Long Island mortgage broker should give you the confidence needed to make an offer on any home within your budget, but there’s no reason to pay more than you must.

Since you’re shopping without a partner, it’s wise to work with your realtor to determine how much you should negotiate, and how much leeway there might be in a seller’s stated price. It’s also a wise idea to look over the home and property (use an actual home inspector for this) and note things that need to be repaired, are in need of replacement, or otherwise need attention (read: money and time). Those should be accounted for in your negotiations with the seller.

Don’t Look for Perfection

No home is going to be perfect. There will be things that need to be addressed at every single property you view. Don’t look for perfection. Look for your “must-have” elements, and buy with an eye for things that are easy to fix, like carpeting or paint color. Be wary about things that are not so easy to change (home layout), or even impossible (a new development going in and blocking your prized view).

With a few simple tips and the right Long Island mortgage broker, buying a home on your isn’t difficult. If you’re ready to make the leap, get in touch with Reliant Home Funding.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684