If you ask any REALTOR® how to buy a house, if they are good at what they do, they’ll tell you to go talk to a lender to get prequalified FIRST. There is only one exception to this rule. If you are paying cash of course you have no need for a lender. So, if you happen to be 11% of buyers in Alaska you can skip the prequalification process.
When Katie my old school friend asked me to show her a home before getting prequalified I knew I shouldn’t, but I did. I am human I make mistakes and I love a chance to hang out with a good friend. After looking in person at the property she was excited to start the application process to get prequalified. I’m sure you know where this is heading, the day before she acquired her approval letter the house pended. She had her heart set on that property and finding another like it will require patience.
To give you a little insight about Katie’s requirements to purchase.
Area of town. (84 available homes)
Price. (30 available homes within the area)
Katie needs down payment assistance from Cook Inlet Housing. This program helps people by advancing the down payment. This is treated as a 2nd mortgage and is paid back monthly. The requirements of the program limit her to single family homes, cutting out all condos and multi family homes such as duplexes. (2 available homes in the area)
Each requirement narrows the houses that available to her. The thing is her needs are not unusual we didn’t even talk about things like number of bed and bathrooms or garage space.
Buying a home is a very big decision and should not be taken lightly. It becomes even more stressful when your heart belongs to another that you cannot get back. Katie and I have looked a dozen home since expanding our search area coming up empty. Even when I think I found her a keeper it doesn’t live up to the first one. We will continue our search as long as it takes. It does make me think if we would have done things the right way what would have happened.
If you have any questions about what steps are involved in buying a home, look at this Fancy Flow Chart. If you need a lender referral I know several reputable ones just reach out, I’d be happy to help.