A Picture Is Worth 500 Words

The old saying of a picture is worth a thousand words may hold true in some circumstances, but when it comes to shopping for a house that’s certainly not the case. Even though I haven’t been pre-approved for a mortgage amount yet my Realtor sent me a list of homes that fell in the price range we think I’ll qualify for. Since I’m anxious and excited I pored over the list and went out to visit a few that caught my eye. It was an enlightening experience.

All of the houses were in Bethlehem, but their character couldn’t be more different. One seemed a little too close to the neighbor for my taste and it was located on a corner that was busier than I expected. Another was a short-sale which looked promising in the photos and was at a great price but when I arrived I saw why it hadn’t sold in almost a year. It looked like it was going to fall over. I looked in a neighborhood that I’d been considering but after I got there I saw that all of the houses were very tiny and packed in. Of the dozen or so houses I looked at only one called out to me as one I’d potentially want to buy. It turns out that it’s just two doors down from a good friend of mine.

I emailed my Realtor to let her know that this was a house that I want to look at once I get my mortgage stuff figured out and she got back to me with some additional information about that property. A timely response like that wasn’t necessarily unexpected, but it was definitely a welcome surprise. I told her that I still didn’t have my pre-approval done and that I needed to shop around for a lender.

I was then told something that she’d told me before, but it hadn’t really sunk in. She told me to get a pre-approval from one of the lenders I think I want to go with and to shop around for a mortgage later. The pre-approval letter isn’t binding and it’s not an actual mortgage application, so when the time comes to put in an offer, that’s when I’ll need to know who I want to get my loan from. This will speed things up considerably for me, which is a good thing, since I’m very eager to refine my search criteria and take a closer look at houses.

I looked around at a few lenders and most of them mention pre-qualifications on their website, but not pre-approvals. I know that the two are not the same thing, and that a pre-approval is a stronger document, but it stinks not seeing pre-approval info on most websites because I was really hoping to gather the necessary documentation today so I can have it all ready to go meet with a mortgage representative and potentially even apply tomorrow. If nothing else I can always apply Tuesday.

2 thoughts on “A Picture Is Worth 500 Words

    • It is complicated, and I’m only at the beginning stages. Don’t worry, I’ll be documenting the whole process, good and bad so everyone can learn from it. Hopefully there won’t be too many mistakes.

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