- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

Getting Pre-Approved For A First-Home Mortgage

I’m going out with Realtor today (it’s a friend of mine who is testing for it and a fully licensed Century 21 agent) to look at a few more houses; I’ll report back my findings. One thing I’ve already learned so far is the types of homes I’m interested in are snatched up usually within a week of listing. What that means is that I should get myself pre-approved for a mortgage as soon as possible. If I find my dream house at the dream price and I need to go out and find a loan, it’ll be gone faster than a fat kid going after free cake. So I began my search online for a solid rate and some help on what kind of loan I’ll need.

The first step to getting a mortgage is finding out the prevailing rates and just filling out some online forms. I know I could go to the bank or whatever, but for me, the easiest thing is to go to LoanWeb.com (off Bankrate.com [3]), LendingTree.com [4] (when banks compete, you win!), and MonsterMoving.com and get bombarded by mortgage lenders. I’m alright with a few dozen calls, 75% of which I expect to be noise, from these folks just to see the various pitches. I want to hear some pitches so I can identify what the “keywords” in the language are and how to sniff out the BS.

The loan products I’m willing to consider are a 30-Year Fixed, 5/1 ARM (or 7/1 ARM), and 10/1 ARM. I really don’t want a 5/1 ARM but on Lending Tree there is no 7/1 ARM, just the 5 and 10. The reason is because my time horizon for the house is probably 7 – 10 years.

All three sources were pretty easy but LendingTree asked for the most information, enough that they could pull my credit. I read that all the mortgage company hard inquiries on my credit score within a 30-day period would be considered one pull, which is good. I already know my score because my realtor told me (740ish, +/- whatever activity has happened in the last month) so I declined all the free credit offers. LendingTree worked the hardest to get me to sign up for various auxiliary products.

So now I just wait for the lenders to call me and start writing all the offers down… briiiing briiiing. If you have any advice, please let me know. I’m as green as they come when it comes to home purchases.