Mortgages and Homeownership in St. Louis
The Process of Homeownership By Senior Mortgage Banker Chris Reh
Have you ever thought about how awesome homeownership is? There is just a unique feeling of pride and accomplishment when you own your home. Growing up, or even as adults, I think we sometimes might take it for granted. Nonetheless, homeownership is one of the primary components of the “American Dream”.
There are many different paths towards homeownership, and while the process of buying a house can be complicated, these steps are known to help make things a little easier for you to navigate. Do not forget to arrange to have some cash on hand, either from your hard-earned savings or a gift, for a down payment and closing costs.
STEP 1:Talk To a Lender & Get Pre-Approved
Before you do anything, find a lender you trust, and get pre-approved. It will help you determine how much you can afford to borrow in total, as well as your monthly payments. At First Integrity Mortgage Services in St. Louis, we believe in making sure you get “Pre-Approved” and not just “Pre-Qualified”, as the difference is crucial. The Pre-Qualification process is one in which a lender will rely on a verbal interview regarding finances, credit score, and debts to produce an amount they could be approved for. Wherewith a true Pre-Approval, a lender, will run and review a borrower’s credit report and supporting financial documents like pay stubs, tax returns, and asset account statements. The Pre-Approval is much stronger and essential to submitting that offer with the utmost confidence you will be approved. When hitting the market to purchase a home, the first thing to do is talk to a lender and get Pre-Approved.
STEP 2: Select a Real Estate Agent
Now you are ready to go out and find your new home-to-be. If a real estate agent did not already send you to the lender for pre-approval, it is time to find one on your own. First, interview full-time agents referred to you by a trusted source. Then select one that best fits you and your goals. I believe it’s best to hire a full-time buyer’s agent who specializes in your desired area. This person will represent you and your interests in one of the largest purchase contracts you will personally negotiate. The great news is that it usually does not cost you a dime as the buyer’s agent is normally compensated by the listing agent who is selling the home. It is an added bonus if your real estate agent works well together with your lender, as communication is key to a smooth buying process.
Step 3: An Accepted Contract
After you find a house, make an offer, and go under contract, you will want to work closely with the lender making sure they have everything they request from you in a timely matter. Do not use credit for anything. Do not open new credit accounts, even if its 0% interest. Do not close any credit accounts, even if you pay the balance down to $0. The best practice is to keep making your payments on time and try to keep your credit as unchanged as possible through the entire process to avoid any changes in credit that could affect loan approval. Expect about 30-45 days to close once under contract.
The road to homeownership is as easy as 1,2,3. During your move to your new home, don't forget to change your address with the post office as well as other key entities such as your bank, government agencies, and service providers.
If you or anyone you care about is thinking about entering the homeownership arena, have them reach out to First Integrity Mortgage Services in St. Louis, Missouri today. We can get them pre-approved, connected with the necessary people, and help them figure out the best way to realize homeownership.
For more information on how to purchase your next home, or if you have any questions or comments regarding this article, please contact Chris Reh, NMLS# 1773185, at 314.420.3122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.