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HOT TOPIC: Why Savvy Buyers Get Pre-qualified In Today's Hot Market!

Though the info here applies to buyers, most sellers will become buyers again so it applies across the board.

The most important thing I can recommend to you if you're a buyer is to get pre-qualified. The market is so hot, that buyers who make offers on properties usually lose out (there offers aren't accepted) if they aren't pre-qualified for a home loan ahead of time. It's just the reality of the California real estate market--and right now, it's sizzling.

When sellers have multiple offers, they will almost always take the offer from buyers who are pre-qualified (all other things being equal). You can't blame them--pre-qualified buyers have prepared themselves ahead of time, increasing the chances of a smoother and quicker escrow. Why wouldn't they want a pre-qualified buyer? They get their money faster, which enables them to move more quickly on the home or property they're trying to buy. So, buyers, get pre-qualified!

How? Seek out a mortgage lender and tell them you're looking for a home in their area, and that you want to get pre-qualified for a home loan. Have an idea in mind as to the amount you want to be pre-qualified for. For example, if the homes in your price range max out at $350,000 and you have $50,000 to put down, that leaves a loan balance of $300,000. BUT: you'd be wise to give yourself a little breathing room by asking for a pre-qual loan amount of $325,000, for example, in case you find that one-in-a-million home that's a little higher than your target price (and believe me, it happens all the time!).

But here's a warning: Be wise, and work the numbers thoroughly in advance, being brutally realistic about your monthly finances and your ability to make those mortgage payments.

Why? It's a heady feeling when you've been pre-qualified and you're looking for homes--it's like having a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket, and the tendency is to want to "blow the wad" on the best home you can possibly afford. BUT you must have a firm grasp of your financial posture so you don't "max out" your finances. In other words, some people technically qualify for loan amounts that they can't comfortable handle in terms of the monthly payments. Don't fall into that trap. Believe me, the stress and strain on your finances and family relationships aren't worth it.

Bear in mind I spent eight years in the mortgage lending business, so I have a pretty good perspective on these things. I'm pleased to say there are many good mortgage lending outfits here in Amador County. Please contact me if you'd like mortgage lender information or recommendations.

Whoever you trust your mortgage lending needs to, make sure they sweat the details and readily and completely explain anything you don't understand. A good mortgage lender will have no problem doing so, and will take the time you need to make sure you're comfortable with the whole process.


   
   
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