Step 1 in finding a house, get pre-approved!
So we are roughly 5-6 months away from our final PCS. I had planned on waiting another 2 months (when I had time to pay down a debt) before trying to get us pre-approved for a home loan. But the stress of not knowing what our ultimate budget for a house was making me literally sick (stress). I decided I couldn’t take it now more and used Lending Tree to find us the perfect loan. Needless to say the moment I submitted the form, the phone started ringing off the hook. I knew we have great credit (after all I have worked VERY hard the last 3 years to make sure when we got to this day there would be no snags and we would get the best possible rate).
We ultimately went with the 2nd lender that we spoke to. The first guy never sent over the “proposed” breakdown of the loan. Another guy was way to pushy (he called twice within 20 minutes while we were on the phone with the 2nd one). As we were on the phone with the 2nd lender, I had that feeling of “this is the guy I want to work with”. I tend to go with my gut a lot and have realized it’s usually 99% correct. He was extremely helpful and answered all of my questions, and when he told me that the proposal would be emailed to be within 20 minutes, he wasn’t lying and I had not 1 but 2 different scenarios to choose from (depending on if we wanted absolutely no out-of-pocket expenses such as closing costs or if we wanted a better rate while paying very minimal out-of-pocket costs). He also attached in that email a pre-approval letter.
Now you may be asking why (other than the obvious of finding out how much we can spend on a house) would you want to get pre-approved. The reason is simple. If you place an offer on a house, and someone else wants that same house and places an offer, usually the seller will go with the offer who has a pre-approved loan because they now that a bank has already said they will indeed loan them that money. If they go with the non pre-approved offer, the bank may not finance that person which means that they will have lost out on the chance to sell their house at that moment.
So needless to say I am super excited to continue on, knowing that I do not have to worry about the money aspect of things. I know what our budget is, and I also know that I don’t have to stress about paying down a debt. We are pre-approved on what our credit looks like right now. For any of you that may be getting ready to retire or even just buy a home, I suggest using Lending Tree. They do allow you to get offers for using your VA Loan as well, so you don’t have to use a traditional mortgage.