The very first step of the home buying process is to get a pre-approval letter from a lender stating how much you are qualified for. It’s important to ask your potential lenders some questions to make sure they are a good fit for you.
Don’t understand something your lender says? Stop and ask for clarification. This is your home buying journey, and you deserve to understand the process every step of the way. A pre-approval is only valid for 30-90 days, so while you can start talking to lenders, you’ll want to wait on getting that pre-approval letter when you’re ready to buy.
Questions to Ask Potential Lenders
What type of loan do you recommend for me? Why?
There’s not one type of mortgage loan that’s superior to another but whichever you choose, you need to know why it’s best for you & how it works.
Will my down payment vary based on the loan I choose?
If you’re tight on cash or don’t want to be cash poor, let your lender know. Loans vary in their down payment requirements.
What is the interest rate and the annual percentage rate (APR)?
Everyone talks about the interest rate, but the APR is just as important. It combines the interest rate with the fees a lender charges to originate your loan.
Can I lock-in an interest rate?
If so, for how long? If you think rates will be moving up, ask if you can lock it in for a set period of time.
What will my closing costs be?
Are they a part of my loan, or will I pay them in cash at closing? Remember, closing costs usually run 3-6% of your loan value so you need to know how they’ll be covered.