I thought Gary Waters did an excellent job this week of explaining what that little piece of paper called a "pre-approval" (now required by the Federal Government and by your Wisconsin broker) means when you are buying a home or condominium in Door County (or anywhere).
The best thing you can do for yourself before you purchase your Door County property is know whether you are a cash buyer (although "cash is king", it doesn't necessarily mean a steep discount if the property is well-priced to begin with (properly priced) to begin with--many owners would rather wait for more money if possible if they know their home is reasonably priced), plus whether you need financing and, most importantly, how much of a loan you can afford, and what type of loan will it be? I commonly de-bunk the myth with my buyers that you need 20% down for your second home in Door County (although you may end up paying private mortgage insurance if you do not put 20% down). Know what you can buy, and IF you can buy, and you won't be crying tears of frustration when you find your Door County dream home but find out you're not approved to buy it. The bottom line to this excellent piece is to do your research first---and be prepared to be asked if you are qualified, as more and more Door County real estate agents and brokers are asking to see proof of prequalification prior to showing property because too many prospects don't realize that the credit game and housing market has changed forever. Remember--you can still qualify for various types of loans for our dream home, but in our quickening market, it's best to talk with your lender before you start your search. Read more below:
As a home buyer understanding what you can buy is much more than your budget. Understanding what you can buy also includes the type of property and conditions of sale.
I am not a mortgage expert. I leave that up to the professionals who are quite capable of providing advice on qualifications and different loan programs.
However, sometimes a buyers type of loan program or lack of cash requires restrictions be placed on the specific property sought. Specifically, whether a foreclosure or auction property is a consideration.
Most foreclosure homes lack the ability to be financed. There may be roof issues, a lack of appliances, plumbing or electrical problems or whatever. There may be some unpermitted additions or code violations. This does not mean it is not possible as there are programs like FHA (203) loans (speak to your lender).
The terms of the sale may not allow for contingencies. Financing, inspection and appraisal contingencies protect the buyer (and the lender).
Sometimes it may not be the type of property but a buyer's time-line. Although not very common these days, a short sale my not be a consideration.
When you receive your mortgage pre-approval it will be for a specific amount. Of course this amount is not necessarily the "must spend" amount! It will also be for specific types of properties. The property type may be restricted such as in no manufactured or mobile homes.
The most important advice I can give prospective home buyers: Know your loan status (amounts, types of homes, projected costs, etc) and know your mortgage lender's contact number. If you have a question about your mortgage, ask!
Buying a home is a joint operation. Buyers, their real estate agent and mortgage lender all need to be on the same page.
Ready to move to Brevard, County, Florida? I can help you find a local lender, your next home and the moving company to help you out!
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Gary L. Waters, is a Florida licensed real estate broker at Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, Melbourne, Florida serving Florida's Space Coast including the cities and surrounding communities of Melbourne, Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach.
Call or text me directly at 321-693-3850.