After making the decision that you’re interested in buying a house, you’ve got to next determine how you’re going to pay for one. Money is the obvious answer, but let’s dive deeper into what this means for you.
MONEY to buy a house is going to come in TWO forms.
- Financing: aka a loan: aka a mortgage
Do you have access to cash to straight out buy a home, free and clear of any debt?
Is that what you’d like to spend your money on?
If yes, you’ve just simplified the process and made things quite easy for yourself.
And also, good for you! You just need to provide a “proof of funds” that those monies are secured in a bank somewhere and ready to be transferred for the sale.
If you don’t have the liquidity to buy a house outright, you are going to have to get a mortgage.
A loan for a home is called a mortgage. The source of money could be a bank, a credit union, a mortgage broker or private lender. (Read more about how these sources are different).
Whichever the institution you decide to go with, they will have certain requirements that you need to meet in order to be eligible for some of their precious funds. You’ll need to chat with a mortgage professional in order to get pre-approved for a home loan.
They are going to ask you questions about your financial situation, your job, tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, credit score, payment history, etc. They will be asking a lot of personal finance questions but it’s not just for fun; they get nosey in order to help you get money to buy a house.
Not all lenders are created equal and not all have the same loan types available. To dive deeper into the various loan types available, click over to this post.
AMANDA ADVICE: As you are beginning your home buying process, I would encourage you to talk to a few different lenders. See who you best jive with and who is able to get you a good loan with good terms. You’re going to be entrusting them with a lot of information and they will be with you the whole process so find one you like and want to do business with. Shop around; look online for a lender; ask your friends and family who they used; ask your realtor who they would recommend.
Once you’ve been pre-approved for a loan, we can start the fun part of taking a look at the homes that are available for sale and scheduling showings!