Unless you are paying cash for your home, you will need to apply for a mortgage. Securing a pre-approval is the first step in the home buying process. Understand that as a REALTOR® in business since 2005, Ariana Loucas of Ariana & Associates has heard all the reasons a buyer wants to wait to apply for a mortgage:
1. “I have excellent credit and I know I can get approved.” That statement is backwards for several reasons which we will see in the bullets below in a moment.
2. “I want to see what homes are out there before I apply.”
3. “I’m not ready to buy. I just want to see it.”
4. “I don’t want the hits on my credit until I find the house I want.”
5. And many more debunked statements.
Yes, experienced agents have heard everything. We want you to know that below are only a few reasons why we at Ariana & Associates will want you to first be pre-approved:
- Did you know that just as a person must qualify for a mortgage, a house must also qualify for the specific loan type a buyer is approved to use? For example, VA Loans and FHA Loans have specific condition criteria that a Conventional Loan may or may not have. Confusing? Not when you trust us.
- Do you know the total monthly amount of the mortgage you will be charged for that home you want to see? After factoring your principle and interest, we still must include escrows: property taxes and hazard insurance. There could be front foot fees, hoa costs, condo fees or worse, all of them combined. Now, is that total monthly payment obligation an amount you are comfortable in paying?
- What if that house you see today, you love, but is priced too high for you to even qualify based on your dti (debt to income ratio)? What a letdown.
- Lastly, the home you want to see today, will not be there tomorrow. No Seller is waiting for you to like their home and then get your pre-approval. The sellers of that home already have multiple offers from buyers who followed the process of first being positioned to offer: by having a pre-approval.
Looking at homes prior to securing financing is putting the cart before the horse. Remember, you do not know, what you do not know. That is just one reason why you hire us.
With that said, below is my favorite lender. I receive nothing from Tammi for you selecting her for your loan buying or even refinancing needs. I simply know her reputation, experience, commitment to customer service and accessibility.
I started out in the mortgage business in 1993 as a processor and then managed the Operations Departments of two very large mortgage companies until 2008. I gained so much experience those years because it helped strengthen my knowledge in underwriting, closing and post-closing. Even though I love the operational side, my true passion is helping buyers with their finances to purchase a home. I have been originating for 8 years now and I am well known for first time home buyer programs and 203k loans. I am very fortunate because mortgage banking is my passion and I truly love helping clients with their dream of home ownership.
If you prefer another institution than First Home Mortgage, we also have contacts at all the big banks too (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Navy Fed and so many more). Whatever you do though, we ask that you don’t just call a random toll-free number on the Bank of America website for example. Also definitely, do not call Lending Tree. You only want local points of contact for your mortgage loan. “Why” you ask?
Out of state or inaccessible loan officers make us as REALTORS very worried. Our area has a fast-paced real estate market, low inventory and having a local loan officer who knows this is key to moving your loan along quickly. You don’t want to miss your contracted deadline for closing day because the loan officer you selected moves at a snail’s pace.
We also have found that out of state lenders, unfamiliar with the DMV, fail to properly compute our extremely high property taxes. What if that lender in Nebraska that gave you the preapproval, miscalculated our property taxes against your dti (debt to income ratio)? This mistake could cause you in the end to be disqualified on a home you loved, contracted to buy, spent money to inspect and appraise.
One last scenario as to why you want to connect with a local bank is what if you can qualify for a local First-Time Home Buyer Program? These programs are if you’re a first time buyer in the state. Owned a home in CA before but now buying in the DMV? You could still qualify for our local programs. Mortgage brokers and direct lenders based away from the DMV, or even local military credit unions (USAA & NAVY Fed) cannot offer you that “free” money or grant. Wouldn’t you want to get $5,000 or more to buy your first home in DC, MD or VA?
All of this content is simply meant to drive home the point that who your lender is when you make an offer, matters to the Listing Agent who is advising his/her seller on your buying power against the other competing offers that the Sellers are also considering.
Therefore, we suggest Tammi Lewis. She can help get your offer accepted over other buyers when she answers that call from the Listing Agent who is calling her to verify your pre-approval. Bottom line that matters is her accessibility, her 5-star reviews on Zillow and her overall confidence in your file. Now let’s get you fully armed and ready to buy your house!