When you start your home search, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the information that is out there. Even questions that others might just brush over — such as how to get a mortgage — can be stumbling blocks that might cause undue stress. That’s why we are going to take this opportunity to lay out the steps for how you get a mortgage!

No matter whether you are buying a home now or waiting until later down the road, this mortgage guide is going to be invaluable in getting the best rate!

Step #1: Find a (Great) Real Estate Agent

We cannot stress this enough: having a high-quality real estate agent is key to getting the right loan for your new home! The thing is, your real estate agent is going to be able to help you through the entire process of buying a home, not just the search itself! That’s why it’s so important to have the right agent and team on your side.

So, how exactly will a real estate agent help you get a mortgage?

  • Provide personalized advice: Although this guide is a great place to start, each person’s needs and situations are different — and a great real estate agent will be key to giving you hyper-specific advice about getting a good mortgage!
  • Educate you about your options: The best agents aren’t just your advocates; they’re your teacher, too! As you delve into the murky world of lending options, your agent will be there to teach you about what each one offers you in your search.
  • Introduce you to the right lender: We’ll address this more in step #4, but having a good lender on your side is key to your mortgage success. The right real estate agent will have the local knowledge and connections necessary to put you in touch with a high-quality lender.
  • Get you pre-approved: We cannot stress the importance of this enough! Getting pre-approved for your mortgage is a simple way to speed up the buying process and increase your chances of winning a home. Make sure you are with an agent who can help you get pre-approved!

Are you interested in living in Arlington VA, finding a new condo in Alexandria VA, or discovering where to live in Washington DC? If so, there’s no better real estate team to help you than the Keri Shull Team. So contact us today and learn how we can help you get into your dream home faster, cheaper, and stress-free!

Step #2: Figure out Why You Need a Loan

If you’ve ever gone down a rabbit hole researching mortgages, you’ve probably noticed that there are a ton of different mortgage options. This is because people can take out home loans for many different purposes. So you need to know why you want a mortgage before you can really figure out how to get it!

Here are some of the most common reasons that people need home loans:

Buying their first home

First-time home buyers often face some increased stress during their home search. Sure, it’s exciting to enter the world of homeownership … but it can be nerve-wracking too! One of the main reasons for this is because of the financial aspects of the home search — especially the mortgage!

Luckily, there some special mortgage programs for first-time home buyers that can put your mind at ease. These options do depend on where you live, so make sure that you speak with your real estate agent and see what your options are for your region!

Moving up to a more valuable home

If you are buying and selling a home at the same time, your mortgage is even important. Because you are dealing with two very high-value transactions, there’s a fear that move-up buyers might make a common mistake and get stuck with two mortgages — or no home!

The thing is, there are specialized loan options for move-up buyers, too! These mortgages provide some peace of mind and financial security by letting you borrow against the equity of your current home and use it to buy the new house — then the proceeds of your sale go to pay down the mortgage.

So if you are outgrowing your home and are interested in taking advantage of financing options that protect you, make sure to ask your agent about a bridge loan or a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) and figure out which one is right for you!

Step #3: Discover What you Qualify For

Of course, it’s not simply a matter of choosing which mortgage you want — you also have to qualify for it! There are a lot of factors that go into mortgage qualification including credit history, your income, a passable debt-to-income ratio, and enough money for a good down payment.

Not all mortgages are created equal, however. Each type of loan will have different thresholds that you need to meet in order to qualify, as well as potentially more esoteric qualifications. For instance, the highly desirable VA Loan has great benefits and relatively lenient standards, but it is only available to current or former military service people (or certain kin).

As it turns out, there are special home loans for doctors, too!

It’s important to research these qualifications early. The last thing that you want to happen is to fall in love with a house, go to submit an offer, and find out that you do not actually qualify for the mortgage. That’s why a good real estate agent will work with you to get pre-qualified — or even better, pre-approved — for your mortgage!

Step #4: Meet the (Right) Lender

When it comes down to it, your lender is going to be key to getting the right mortgage.

Shocking, right?

At the Keri Shull Team, we often suggest that our clients work with local lenders, particularly those with whom we have a good relationship. This allows us to leverage our relationship and get the best possible rate for our clients!

Local lenders can often be flexible where larger creditors are not. This includes potentially offering more favorable rates, helping teach you everything you need to know about your options to put your mind at ease, and working to get you pre-approved early in your home search!

So, how do you figure out which lender is the best for you? As with many things relating to the home buying process, the answer is to ask your real estate agent!

Step #5: Close On Your home!

If you’ve followed the steps above, then this should be simple (at least as far as the mortgage goes)! You’re already pre-qualified and pre-approved, so finalizing the details and getting the paperwork signed should be a painless process.

So what are you waiting for? All that you need to do to get started with your home search is to meet with an agent — and our experts are standing by to help you! Just click here today and schedule a time for a free financial consultation with one of our Home Search Analysts!