Things you need to know about homebuying


What’s the first step to buying a house?

With shortages of homes for sale in so many markets throughout the nation, getting a pre-approval letter for a home loan is more important than ever. Cash buyers used to give sellers confidence that a deal would close quickly, but fewer cash buyers are shopping right now. And when houses weren’t in such short supply, buyers didn’t face the pressures of intense seller’s markets.

With a lender lined up and a pre-approval letter in your pocket, sellers know you’re serious.

“With a pre-approval, [sellers] feel comfortable that, ‘Hey, this Buyer is a legit person who is going to buy and close."


What is a mortgage pre-approval and why does it matter?

A mortgage pre-approval is a letter from a lender indicating how much of a loan you can qualify for, issued after the lender has evaluated your financial history — including pulling your credit report and score. With a pre-approval letter, you can find a home you can afford by shopping within your means — while showing you’re a serious buyer.

A mortgage pre-approval letter can put you head and shoulders above other buyers who may be interested in the same home as you. Getting pre-approved will help you find a mortgage lender who can work with you to find a home loan with an interest rate and other terms suited to your needs.


How long does it take to buy from start to finish?

It depends on which type of home you are wanting to buy.  What HAS changed in the last three years in mortgages is speed to closing.  Application-to-closing times are shrinking. For the 12-month period ending in January 2019, average closing times for purchase and refinance loans combined were about 43 days, according to a mortgage industry technology provider. 

Ask your Realtor with Betty Kellum Realty about lenders in your area.

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