Want to buy a home? Where do I start? What comes first?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with FITZGERALD Real Estate 9500521

 Where do You start?... What comes 1st?... and WHY?

2 part process:

1. Financial partPrequalifying for a mortgage

  • How much of a mortgage do you qualify for?
  • How much will your payments be?How type of loan will it be?
  • Are there any loan specific requirements? VA, FHA, USDA…


2. The fun part - Looking for a home.

Many people want to go directly to the fun part of looking for a home.

It is critical that you do this process in this order.


  • You need to know how much of a mortgage the lender will lend you.
  • You need to decide how much of mortgage payment you are comfortable with.
  • You don’t want to be looking in a price range higher than you’re qualified for. (It sets you up for unrealistic expectations and will mostlikely create disappointment).
  • Sellers expect buyers to be pre-qualified.
  • A pre-qual letter or proof of funds should accompany an offer to give seller some assurance that the buyer has the means to purchase their home

4  parts to the pre-qual:                                                                                             

  • your income
  • your debt
  • your funds for down-payment and closing costsyour credit score

Because this is a pre-qual and not an actual loan application, documentation such as tax returns and w-2’s are not required. When you actually apply you will need to supply documentation.

What information should you be prepared to bring with you at your pre-qual meeting?

All income sources….

  • Pay stubs and or tax return (to establish gross monthly income)

  • Any other income…commissions, overtime, child support, schedule C if you have rental income.

  • If self employed, 2 years of tax returns, current profit and loss statement

All installment debt

  • Credit cards, car loans, personal loans, student loans, child support/alimony, annuities, etc.

Sources of Funds for down payment and closing costs

Bank account balances, CD’s, stocks, bonds, 401K and retirement acct you can use for purchasing a home,  child support income, rental income

Next week we will finish with the Fun part…looking for a home!



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/Users/corinnefitzgerald/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Outlook/Data/Library/Caches/Signatures/signature_959790103FITZGERALD Real Estate  

Corinne A Fitzgerald
116 Federal Street
Greenfield, MA 01301
413-320-9509  cell/text
413-376-4433 direct office line

 2015 President - Massachusetts Association REALTORS®
         2012 President – REALTOR® Association of the Pioneer Valley

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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Such an important step. We don't really work with many first-time buyers these days, but when we did, so many wanted to look at houses first. We kept explaining the importance of knowing what you can buy, before looking. 

Jan 22, 2018 09:21 AM #1
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Getting started in home buying is starting with the lender.  As much as it flatters us as agents to be the first call, I redirect to lenders for that privilege.

Jan 23, 2018 02:03 PM #2
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Excellent advice for home buyers....whether first time or experienced!

Jan 24, 2018 01:52 PM #3
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Corinne Fitzgerald great post with important points for buyers.  Welcome to the Rain and thank you for the "follow"!

Jan 24, 2018 04:50 PM #4
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

This is very good advice to share with prospective home buyers.

Jan 25, 2018 02:56 PM #5
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

If you wish to receive referrals, you should include your office address in your automatic blog signature.

Jan 25, 2018 02:58 PM #6
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Buyers don't know what they don't know. You have provided really good advice!!!

Jan 25, 2018 10:38 PM #7
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Corinne Fitzgerald

Realtor/Broker/Owner, FITZGERALD Real Estate
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