Have you ever wondered what the first step in the home buying process is? Today, Tim Curtin from Americorp Mortgage Services is here to help answer that question.

Before you even start looking at homes, the first thing you need to do is get pre-qualified. You simply call your lender, talk to them about what you want to do, and then they will take your personal information, income, and assets to figure out what kind of loan you will qualify for.

A pre-qualification is different from a pre-approval. The pre-qualification is more of a preliminary step. A pre-approval is when the lender goes through and verifies the information you provided during the pre-qualification.

The documents you need to provide to the lender include 30 days worth of paystubs, your W-2s from the last two years, two years of tax returns if you have investment income or are self-employed, bank statements from the last two months, and a photo ID.

“Get pre-qualified before you look at homes.”

The whole process lasts about 30 days from getting approved to taking the loan to closing. You may even qualify for more than what you can afford. The lender allows you to borrow as much as their guidelines will allow, but that might be more than you can afford. Budget out your monthly mortgage payments in order to know what you can actually afford to spend on a home.

If you have any questions for Tim, you can call him at 703-930-1765 or email him at T.Curtin@Americorp-HomeMortgage.com. As always, if you have any real estate questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you!