Zahra Zoglauer's Blog
If you're ready to get serious about your home buying journey, one of the first steps is seeing various lenders. As you become more familiar with the process, you'll likely hear the terms preapproval and prequalified mentioned again and again. We'll look at how each letter works and what you should know before approaching a home seller.
Prequalification Vs. Preapproval
The key difference between a preapproval and prequalification is that the preapproval letter is much more involved. With a prequalification, the lender will look at the general state of the buyer's assets before estimating how much home they're likely to afford. Lenders are not diving into the buyer's past, which can make real estate agents wary of accepting prequalification letters.
With a preapproval letter, you're typically asked to provide the following:
Considering the amount of paperwork you need to provide (and the lender needs to process), preapproval letters can take months to generate. On the other hand, a prequalification letter can be procured in little more than 24 hours.
Here are a few facts that can help you know more about what to expect:
Does It Help to Have Both?
Not necessarily. Prequalification letters are generally recommended for homebuyers who may not know for sure if they're ready to buy. It's a general indication of how much money you'll get, which can help you decide if it's enough to get a preapproval letter. If you're in a buyer's market, you may be able to get away with a prequalification. However, it's generally the far less coveted letter that you can have.
A preapproval letter is definitely the best letter you can take to a seller when you're ready to make a bid on a home, but it's important to note that even these letters may fall through. For example, if a major event occurs (e.g., a job loss, etc.) between when your financial institution issued the letter and when you close on the home. Talking to a real estate agent or financial expert can make it easier to navigate it all.
A home repair checklist can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. With this checklist in hand, a home seller can prioritize assorted home repairs. Plus, a home repair checklist helps ensure that a seller can enhance his or her house before adding it to the real estate market.
Ultimately, there are several items to include in a home repair checklist, such as:
1. Inspecting and Repairing the Roof
If you notice damaged, loose or missing roof shingles, you'll want to repair or replace these shingles immediately. That way, you can improve your home's roof – something that may make your house more attractive than others to dozens of potential buyers.
Remember, many homebuyers don't want to deal with the hassle of roof repairs. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to repair your roof today, you can include details about your upgraded roof in your home listing. Thus, roof repairs may help you increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.
When it comes to roof repairs, it often pays to hire professionals. Reach out to local roof repair companies, and you should have no trouble upgrading your house's roof.
2. Sealing Cracks and Gaps in Windows and Doors
Cracks and gaps in windows and doors can cause warm or cold air to leak outside a house. As a result, these problems can drive up a homeowner's monthly heating and cooling bills.
Fortunately, sealing cracks and gaps in windows and doors can be quick and easy. In most instances, caulk or weather stripping can help minimize these issues. Or, you can always reach out to local contractors for professional assistance as well.
3. Power-Washing Windows and Siding
Your home's curb appeal can have a significant impact on how quickly your residence sells. If you power-wash your residence's windows and siding, you can instantly boost your home's curb appeal and help your residence stand out to potential buyers.
Oftentimes, you can rent a power-washer from a home improvement store. You also may choose to buy a power-washer; by doing so, you can use your power-washer both now and in the future.
A home repair checklist is a must-have for home sellers, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. If you need extra help determining which home repairs to complete prior to listing your residence, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent too.
By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive expert guidance throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the best local contractors to help you finish myriad home repairs. In addition, a real estate agent will help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and ensure that you can generate substantial interest in your house.
Ready to sell your house? Include the aforementioned items in your home repair checklist, and you can upgrade your residence in no time at all.
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Buying a home should be an unforgettable journey, one that enables you to purchase a high-quality house at a budget-friendly price. If you start planning for the homebuying journey today, you may be able to reduce the risk of encountering homebuying hurdles as you attempt to acquire a first-rate house.
Ultimately, there are many important decisions for homebuyers to make before they enter the real estate market, including:
1. Where Do I Want to Live?
As a homebuyer, you'll want to know where you want to go so you can map out your property buying journey.
Consider your current and future plans before you enter the housing market – you'll be glad you did. This will enable you to consider where you'll be in the next few months and years and plan accordingly.
For example, if you currently work in the city and intend to stay at your present job, you may want to search for a home that makes it easy to commute to work.
On the other hand, if you plan to start a family in the foreseeable future, you may want to consider purchasing a home near various top-notch parks and schools.
2. How Much Can I Spend on a House?
You know that you'd like to become a homeowner, but how much can you afford to pay for a residence? Meet with several banks and credit unions, and you can start budgeting for a home.
Banks and credit unions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, with a mortgage in hand, you can enter the real estate market with a good idea about how much you can spend on a residence.
Many banks and credit unions are available, and they are happy to teach you about the ins and outs of numerous mortgage options. Plus, lenders will respond to your mortgage concerns and queries and help you make an informed mortgage decision.
3. Will I Need to Hire a Real Estate Agent?
If you're on the lookout for your dream home, why not hire an expert to guide you along the homebuying journey? With a real estate agent at your side, you can take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing your ideal residence.
A real estate agent will provide expert support at each stage of the homebuying journey. As such, he or she will help you set realistic expectations before you begin your search for your dream house.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new properties as they become available and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. This housing market professional will even offer expert real estate insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
When it comes to purchasing a house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to help you along the homebuying journey and simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.