How do you know what you can buy? Unless you have unlimited cash funds, you will need to get a loan to purchase a property, and the type of loan, and loan amount, will determine what properties you should be looking at. Looking at properties that you can’t afford is frustrating for everyone!

Talk to a lender right away – you do not need to have a particular property in mind to start the loan process. Banks, mortgage brokers and credit unions all offer home loans. And each have different types of home loans, depending on your particular financial situation – whether you are a first-time buyer (special incentive programs), if you’re looking to buy something in the county (USDA loans), or considering a fixer-upper (rehab loans). As a Realtor, I can point you to some experienced lenders to answer all of your financial questions — they will have the most up-to-date rates and information about new programs that will work for you.

Once you pick your lender, start the pre-approval process. This means providing the documentation they need to say that they will lend up to a certain amount, and for what type of property.

When you do get to the point of making an offer on something, having this actual pre-approval (not pre-qualification) from your lender will make your offer rise to the top of the pile – the seller of the property will know that you’ve done the work ahead of time to avoid last minute financial surprises, and that your closing process will be smoother and faster.

Let me know if you need a referral to a lender!