Know what you can afford
Before you start your search, you should sit down with a mortgage broker. This should be someone you feel comfortable working with, preferably someone with whom you already have a relationship: perhaps someone at the branch of the bank where you bank. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THE PLACE WITH THE LOWEST RATE – though you should inquire. You do not have to get your mortgage with the first offer. Ultimately, you should compare at least 3 options.
You will need to know the difference between a preapproval (credit run, full assessment of your eligibility) and a prequalification (based on your conversation, seems like you’d qualify). Either one is OK to accompany most offers in our market under normal circumstances, though if you’re competing against other offers, if they all have mortgage contingencies (more on this later) you may be required to get the former even if you have the latter.
You don’t need to tell us what your bonus was last year. You do need to be able to afford the house you make an offer on. Want to hear a funny story? Buyers of one of Jeannine’s first listings thought didn’t show up for closing, didn’t buy the house and lost their $70k deposit. They thought they were going to win enough money to buy the house in the lottery. It didn’t pan out. Plan ahead. Don’t be like them.
Pick your community
We can help you in the towns we cover. But Lincoln is not the same as Wellesley. We can help you narrow your search, considering your preferences for commute, culture, schools, taxes, amenities, etc.
Get a sense of the market
If you know what communities you are interested in then you should become acquainted with the market, you should know what has sold and what is on in your general price range. Especially if you are new to the search, we can email you a packet of information so you feel well-educated about prices and values.