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by Jace Stolfo
on Monday, December 29th, 2008 at 12:14pm.
The first thing you should do when you begin thinking about purchasing a home is to get a loan pre-approval letter. Do not wait, even if you're months away from purchasing. Here's 3 reasons to get pre-approved immediately.
1) Resolve Issues. If you have any issues with your credit you'll find out and know what you need to fix.
2) You know what you can afford. There is no sense looking above or below the home you can afford. When you talk to a lender, request a "good faith estimate (GFE)." This will disclose the interest rate, payment, fees, and estimated closing costs.
3) Allows you to react quickly. Any offer should include a loan pre-approval letter (short sale and bank-owned real estate requires it). You're going to want to have this in hand because if a great deal pops up we want to be able to react quickly.
Most lender's have an loan application that can be completed online in about 30 minutes. A few lender's I've worked with and recommend can be found here but feel free to contact anyone you want.