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I am planning on purchasing a home in Jan/Feb of 2009.

My question is: When should I get the whole processs started with a pre-approval and then the actual loan?
I have no doubt that I will be approved (xlnt credit & 20% down), but I know that the pre-approoval rates or “good faith” estimates are only good for 60-days. So would that mean I should get a pre-approval in early Nov?

What about the loan itself? Do I decide which lender to go with after I find a home I decide on? What if the pre-approval has expired?

First time home buyer and any help clarifying this is greatly appreciated as I don’t want my credit checked more than once or twice as it has a negative effect. Please help

5 Thoughts on Planning on buying home in Jan/Feb 09. When do I start with the paperwork?
  1. Reply
    Phoenix: RAmenhotep
    February 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Most sellers require the buyer to be pre-approved when making an offer, so you’ll need a current pre-approval at the time of making your offer. If you’re not buying until Jan., there’s no need to do the paperwork until much closer to Jan.

    I would have my lender chosen before making any offers.

  2. Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Yes, get your loan pre-approved so you know how much house you can purchase. No better let down than looking at a 100,000.00 home and then find out you can only qualify for 75,000.00 loan.

  3. Reply
    9 daughters
    February 10, 2014 at 8:41 am

    In most cases you’ll need to be pre-qualified at the time you make your offer on a home. In other words, you don’t have to start the pre-qualification process until about two weeks prior.

    In fact, if you do it too soon, your pre-qualification will expire and you’ll have to do it all over again.

    What does pay to do now is shopping around for lenders. A good relationship with your mortgage broker is great thing. It’s not just about who has the best numbers but who do you have that rapport with. A good mortgage broker will find you the right loan. You want one who will go the extra mile to get you the best deal.

  4. Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I agree with 9 daughters for the most part. However, I would pre-check my credit bureau (since it’s free) at NOW since that will show anything that might be adverse on your credit. Also, even with good credit, lenders have started requiring higher credit scores than just a few years ago for the same sort of lending. Lot’s depends upon whether you go conventional, FHA, get DPA assistance (which is ending somewhat), use first time buyer’s grants, etc.

    I would start with checking out lenders and getting quotes from them, without them pulling your credit yet. However, remember that pulling your credit for the same purpose within a short period of time is NOT going to hurt your score as much as people say. Pulls only count about 3-5 points. Not that big a deal.

    Make sure your price for the house, after down payment, will be something you can afford. Talk to brokers/lenders about suitable “debt to income” ratios. Get your credit cards paid down (if you have any) as low as possible. There are things you can do prior to obtaining a loan, rather than some have suggested “as to just wait until you get closer”

    I work as an independent contractor with lots of lenders. Try out American Equity (they are a multi-state lender with lots of branches) and are a correspondent with many of the big mortgage companies. I like their folks and how they treat customers. There are others of course. Depends upon what state you are located in.

  5. Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 9:08 am

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