What You Need to Know About the Northeast Ohio Home Buying Process

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Today, we’ll discuss the dos and don’ts of purchasing a home. Don Jarecki from First Federal Lakewood is here to offer expert advice on the home buying process. 

What should a buyer do to get to the closing table?
One of the first things you should do is check your credit score. Contact a lender and go through the pre-approval process. Once you determine that your credit is okay, they’ll allow you to purchase a house. You’ll find out what price range you should be in and what kind of down payment you will need. After that, talk with your real estate agent about what kind of home you’re looking for. 

What are some of the documents that buyers should prepare to get approved for a loan? 
You will need: one month of pay stubs; two years of tax returns and W2s; your last two months of bank statements; retirement and mutual funds; and valid photo ID. You may also need divorce decrees and bankruptcy documents. That documentation should suffice for any lender out there. 

What’s the difference between a pre-approval and pre-qualification? 
Here, you provide your information to a lender over the phone informally, without documentation. A pre-qualification isn’t as strong as a pre-approval, because a pre-approval requires documentation. 

A lot of buyers come in with online pre-quals. Are those accurate? 
For online pre-qualifications, you’re inputting information and no one can verify it. If your income or assets are entered incorrectly, you won’t receive accurate information.

What shouldn’t a buyer do when in the home buying process?
Don’t make any major purchases before or after you sign a purchase agreement. If you buy a car and you haven’t bought the home yet, you could jeopardize your home sale altogether.  Additionally, refrain from any large deposits into your checking or savings account because the lender will have to document that. Also, don’t move money around between checking and savings, because that will make things confusing for the lender to document sufficient funds for closing. 

What’s the biggest delay in a loan?
Documenting funds to close is probably the biggest difficulty for lenders today. Buyers have a tough time coming up with funds, and documenting that is the toughest job for the lender. 

Are there any other tips to help during the home buying process?  
Whatever your lender asks you to do, whatever documentation your lender asks you to provide, get it to them the day before they want it. The sooner you provide information, the better. Don’t waste time asking why the lender needs that information; they are trying to get you to the closing table. Just get them the paperwork. That will keep the loan process moving smoothly and get you to the end with the least amount of hassle. 

If you have any questions for Don, you can reach him at (216) 347-3900, or email him at djarecki@ffl.net. As always, if you have any questions for us, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

1 comment :

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