If you’re like most people, you probably feel like shopping for a mortgage can be about as much fun as getting a root canal. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some basic steps you can take to ensure that you find a mortgage that works for you.
Meet with a bank or lender. They’ll ask you some questions that may point out some things you missed in your initial estimate, like liabilities – or assets you didn’t realize you had. Using all this information, they’ll give you a rough estimate of how much you can borrow. However, this informal process isn’t a guarantee or a pre-approval. It’s simply a way to help you gauge the properties you can afford and figure out if you’re ready to make this type of financial commitment.
A mortgage is one of the biggest financial commitments you can make, so it pays to shop around. Even if you have an excellent relationship with your bank, there’s no harm in exploring the option of obtaining financing from another company.
If you’re pressed for time, a mortgage broker can do your “shopping around” for you, and find the best rate available. Before choosing a broker, make sure he or she isn’t affiliated with a specific bank or lending institution.
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Getting mortgage pre-approval is similar to pre-qualifying, but the result is an approval from a lender for a specific amount, locked into an interest rate for a period of time (normally 90 to 120 days).
So there you have it—the simple steps to get you closer to a mortgage that not only works for you but also gets you into the home of your dreams!