Profile picture for user8946465

Can I look at houses if I haven't talked with a bank yet? What is best to use, bank or mtge co?

  • January 11 2013 - Niantic
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Answers (10)

Profile picture for Ofe Polack
Personally, I would not start looking until I have met with at least 2 mortgage brokers and have been advised what is my price range. This will avoid disappointment later on.  The best of luck! 
  • January 19 2013
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Profile picture for JoshBarnettREIB
Unless you are buying with CASH you should get pre-approved.  With identity theft as high as it is today, you never know what is going to be on ones credit report. 

A local bank is a better bet.  

Best of Luck,

Josh Barnett, Realtor
  • January 19 2013
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A good place to start is talk with your bank or a mortage broker to not only see how much you are able to afford but also to see what type of loan you will be obtaining. Depending on your loan, there might be certain houses that you will not be able to purchase. Since I am local, I would be happy to reccomend a bank or broker for you. Then after you have that information you can speak with a Realtor to start your home search. If you have any other questions, feel free to email or call me at 860-368-8383.
Good luck!
Jessica Tracy
CG Real Estate
860-368-8383
jessica@cgrealestate.net
www.jessicatracy.net
  • January 19 2013
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What came first, the chicken or the egg? Chances are you already have an idea of what you can afford, and you've probably already done some shopping online.

Wetdaws is right about driving around on Sundays and checking open houses. This is also a good way to meet a variety of agents and hopefully you will find one you are comfortable with. An agent might also be able to recommend a mortgage company or broker for you to work with.

Deirdre also bring up a good point when she suggests that you talk with bank or credit union where you do your banking. Sometimes they offer special incentives to their customers by offering lower interest rates for automatic mortgage transfers from your account, and/or other incentives. But if you have credit of downpayment problems you might want to consult a mortgage broker becouse they have a variety of programs. A word of caution, try not to get your credit report pulled to many times as this may lower your credit score.

Best of luck & happy shopping!
  • January 11 2013
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
It is entirely up to you and your buyer agente,  but the best way to go about it is to seek pre-approval first and that way you avoid dissapointments.
  • January 11 2013
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 You can certainly look but imagine the disappointment when you find the house of your dreams then find out that you cannot afford it.  Plus shopping in this manner without a pre approval can be a big waste of time for you, the agent bringing you around, the agent listing the house, and the owners that need to tidy up and clear out for the showing. 
  I would try the bank where you do business first and see waht they can do for you. It also pays to shop around a bit for a better deal but watch the fine print. 
 Get that pre approval letter, hire a trusted agent then GO HOUSE HUNTING !!
 Good luck
  • January 11 2013
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It is in your best interest to know ahead of time how much house you can afford and what your credit looks like. You may be surprised at both.

But if you don't want that information, then you can look at homes at open houses but know that not all homes have an open house.

You can also call the listing agent of each home you are interested in and arrange showings with them. But the listing agent may not want to show you their listing without hearing from you that you are qualified to even purchase something.

Any decent buyer's agent will require two things - your pre-qualification letter and a signed buyer agency agreement. Agents who don't ask you for those two things are not worth your time.

I personally suggest buyers go with a broker. They often have more products available to you than direct lenders.
  • January 11 2013
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As a buyers agent, we usually reccomend for our clients to speak with a lender before we begin our search. This is not a requirement, however, it is to the buyers advantage to get pre-approved for a loan. This is due to the fact that once you are pre-approved you know just how much you will be able to spend on a house and when you find one you love, you can turn in your pre-approval letter with your offer. This gives the seller a little more peice of mind because they know that you will be able to get a loan and you will have a stronger offer than, perhaps. someone who turns in an offer without a pre-approval letter.
Thank you for your question! I hope this helps!
  • January 11 2013
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Profile picture for Bill Heenan
Absolutely! You can look without talking to a lender but why would you? It literally takes 15 minutes of discussion to get qualified with an experienced loan officer. Then you do not risk getting frustrated. You know what they will lend you and now all you have to do is find a home!! 
As far as who to use for lending. Direct lenders. Whether it is a bank or a mortgage company you just want to make sure that they are the ones lending you the money. This will cut out some unnecessary verification for the loan and you can have more confidence when they pre-qualify you because they are the ones lending the money.  
  • January 11 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
If you wish to look before you are pre-approved, open houses will give that opportunity.

Most agents will not permit showings until you have a pre-approval letter in hand, or at minimum a pre-qualification.   It is a waste of both the seller's time as well as the agent's time to look at houses that you can't afford. 

Here's a link to Zillow's buyer's road map. 
  • January 11 2013
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