As most any Realtor can tell you, we often get calls from prospective buyers who want to see a house or go looking at houses before they are approved for a loan. I do not mind showing houses to people, and often make it my business to accomodate everyones request to see a home, regardless of pre-approval.
However, buyers should realize that it is an important first step in house shopping to get pre-approved before they go out looking. There are many reasons for this. There are many different aspects to loan programs, and depending on the program you are approved for or select, it can have an impact on what type of house you purchase.
I put together the following video for first time home buyers on this subject, especially directed at buyers looking for homes in the Southwest Michigan area where I am located.
Most buyers do not understand why they should get pre-approved before looking at houses. In my experience, it mostly comes from their experiential track on the methods they have used for purchasing other items in their life, such as an automobile, boat, furniture, television, etc. They walked into the store or dealer and selected the item they wanted to purchase, and then went into an office with a sales person and made arrangements for financing.
Purchasing a home is a completely different type of purchase. In fact, the reverse of the expected cycle is how it is done most often. One needs a pre-approval to tell them what dollar value of home they should be looking at is just one aspect. An FHA or VA loan will have restrictions on condition of the home for example, and an USDA Rural Development loan will have restrictions on location.
There is also the aspect of closing costs to factor in, and whether or not they can be negotiated from the seller, or are required to be paid for by the buyer, etc. All of these aspects will impact the type of home one can buy, as well as what terms one must be prepared to negotiate for.
Working with a Realtor that can help you through the process and help you negotiate the best deal for you is important to your success on this. A Realtor can also help you with contacting local loan officers that can help you through the pre-approval process.
If you are interested in finding out more about buying a home in Southwest Michigan, visit my website at: www.michaeldelaware.com or give me a call at: 269-441-8182. I would be very happy to help you through the process.