How to Get Preapproved for a Mortgage: A Step-by-Step Guide for Homebuyers

Ready to get serious about buying a home? Get preapproved for a mortgage.

In a nutshell, a mortgage preapproval letter is a written statement from a lender affirming that you’ve qualified for a home loan and specifying how much money the lender will allow you to borrow. Historically, sellers have preferred offers that include such a letter, but many have begun requiring that buyers get preapproved before even taking a tour.

Click here to read the full story.

House Hunters Now Need Pre-Approval Letters to Walk in the Door. What the Trend Means for Buyers, Sellers and Agents

Home buyers eager to take advantage of low interest rates are rushing to schedule home tours, just recently allowed in some places as stay-at-home restrictions are eased. To curtail potential exposure to the coronavirus, however, many sellers are trying to limit the number of people traipsing through their properties. To achieve this, real estate agents are suggesting that sellers only admit buyers who have been pre-approved for a mortgage.

A pre-approval letter is a written offer from a lender stating that a potential buyer has been tentatively approved for a mortgage and how much they would be permitted to borrow.

Click here to read the full story.

How to Buy a Home When You Can’t See It in Person

When you buy a house, you need to tour it. So that’s what Cat and Bobby Boucher did before making an offer on a three-bedroom townhome in Alexandria, Va., earlier this month. The only difference: The Bouchers never set a foot inside — instead, Cat toured the home through a private video showing with the seller over Facebook.

“The seller was only offering video tours, and seeing the home that way felt a little strange but it made sense considering that a lot of people are staying in their homes because of COVID,” says Cat, 30, who loved the property and its private backyard — a big upgrade from the 875-square foot one-bedroom with no yard where the couple currently lives. “I just want to be outside, especially during quarantine,” she says

Click here to read the full story.

You Can Still Buy and Sell a Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Spring is usually the busiest time of year for real estate. It’s when house hunters and home sellers come out of hibernation mode and descend on the market in droves. But this year—in the era of COVID-19—is different.

The coronavirus outbreak has rocked the economy and upended many industries, including real estate. As Americans across the country are sheltering at home, many home buyers are left wondering: Should I buy a home now, or wait until quarantine measures loosen and the economy picks up again? The same goes for sellers wondering when they should list their home.

Click here to read the full story.

Home Prices on the Rise

Kaushik Mukerjee and Preeti Vasishtha faced stiff competition when they set out to buy a home last spring. The couple, who live in Northern Virginia and have an 8-year-old son, were looking for a home in a good school district, but they lost out to other bidders on two houses before their offer on a townhouse stuck. “In one case we competed against 10 other offers, and the home sold for $20,000 above list price,” Mukerjee says. Ultimately, the couple paid $502,000—slightly above list price—for a 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom townhouse in Burke, Va.

Kody Henderson, a 26-year-old first-time home buyer, also grappled with a hyper­active market when he looked for a home in the Seattle area. He struck out on three before he snagged a three-bedroom single-family house for $465,000 in Burien, Wash., last November. “I kept getting beat by cash offers that were usually above list price,” says Henderson. “It was frustrating.”

Click here to read the full story.

Here’s How to Buy a Home If You Can’t Save for a Down Payment

With millions of Americans facing financial burdens like student loans and high rents, saving up to make the traditional 20% down payment on a first home can be daunting. There’s good news for prospective home owners: You don’t need to do it.

Forty-six percent of millennials and 40% of Americans overall cited affording a down payment as their greatest financial barrier to home ownership, a recent COUNTRY Financial group survey found.

Click here to read the full story.

You’d Better Ask These 5 Crucial Questions Before You Buy a House

No matter how many episodes of “House Hunters” or “Love It or List It” you’ve watched, buying a home inevitably comes with surprises. Though a sharp real estate agent will help you navigate these hidden challenges, before you start shopping for a house, you should take account of some important things that you probably haven’t considered.

Curious what you might be missing? Here are five questions you’d never think to ask yourself but totally should before buying a home.

Click here to read the full story.

5 Common Myths About Home Appraisals That Aren’t True

So, you’ve found the home of your dreams! Before you pop the Champagne, you’ve still got a few steps before the deal is done. One of those is the home appraisal.

If you’re getting a mortgage, your lender will order an appraisal to have the property’s value professionally assessed. This helps ensure that the home is worth enough to serve as collateral for the value of the loan. That means the home must appraise at, or above, the agreed-upon purchase price.

It seems straightforward enough, but the process can be confusing, especially for first-timers. Here are five common myths about home appraisals.

Click here to read the full story.

6 Things You’ll Love—and Hate—About Buying a Home This Spring

Welcome to the best—and worst—time to buy a home: spring! Yes, it’s peak home-buying season. However, it’s no bed of roses.

Knowing what to expect is half the battle, and can help you use these highs and lows to your advantage!

So consider this an essential prep course. Ready to dive into the best of times and the worst of times for home buying?

Click here to read the full story.

Buying a Home? 7 Unsettling Emotions You’ll Feel Before the Deal Is Done

Buying a home may be a financial transaction, but it’s a highly emotional one, too. And while there are highs—like the moments you know you’ve found The One or you get the keys to your new home—you may also go through periods of high anxiety or hopelessness before you close the deal.

Ask any homeowner about their experiences buying a home, and you’ll hear a similar refrain: Purchasing property is utterly nerve-racking. With so many moving pieces, buying a home can feel like a high-stakes juggling act—only you don’t have time to practice.

Click here to read the full story.