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It's mid-2023. My husband and I are looking to move, possibly to MA, CT or VA. We haven't found property yet (Or even have ours up to sell yet because I'm nervous on listing and not having a place to go).

Because the number of homes available is very small (like 900K in the ENTIRE COUNTRY) and homes often are under contract in less than a week, even with higher interest rates, how do I handle getting "pre approved?" With our savings, assets, some income, I have already spoken to two mortgage brokers where we live now and they have helped me figure out the approx. house budget (incl. prop taxes and a move). And we know our FICO scores (849 and 838)<$2K credit debt and low pay off on the existing.

The mortgage is going to be based on assets, not the "plug in your W2 here" formula... so that's one of the things throwing me off. Should I try to do this prior? Or, attempt the "contingent based on securing mortgage?" Obviously, we can show the sellers a spreadsheet/portfolio if it comes to that.

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  • I don't think buying right now will be your difficulty. It will be in the selling. This could be drastically different based on the county, and even down to the neighborhood. MA and CT are probably very similar and relatively easy to work in, but much of suburban and rural VA is probably a grab-bag type situation.
    – user26460
    Aug 16, 2023 at 15:57
  • You don't say where you are selling.
    – user26460
    Aug 16, 2023 at 16:02

2 Answers 2

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It's mid-2023. My husband and I are looking to move, possibly to MA, CT or VA.

You are going to have to narrow down this list. Unless you pick a national lender you may find that a local lender is limited to writing mortgages in one or two states.

how do I handle getting "pre approved?" With our savings, assets, some income, I have already spoken to two mortgage brokers where we live now and they have helped me figure out the approx. house budget (incl. prop taxes and a move). And we know our FICO scores (849 and 838)<$2K credit debt and low pay off on the existing.

Once you narrow down the are, a local lender should be able to give you a pre-approval.

The mortgage is going to be based on assets, not the "plug in your W2 here" formula... so that's one of the things throwing me off. Should I try to do this prior? Or, attempt the "contingent based on securing mortgage?"

It is normal to need to put in a contingency regarding the mortgage. The lender is going to require an appraisal. They will want to know they aren't giving you more money than the house is worth. That will take some time to schedule, and can't be done until you have picked the house, and the seller has agreed to your price and contingencies.

Anybody that needs a mortgage will be slower than somebody that doesn't need a mortgage.

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In sellers' market you would probably want to be preapproved, or even pre-underwritten, before even starting writing offers. Sellers will expect a formal preapproval letter in the offer package, and depending on how competitive the market is they'd want a fast closing - leaving you little time to undergo underwriting after the contract is signed.

Talk to your mortgage brokers on how to get this done.

Re financing contingencies - similarly, in a hot sellers' market the sellers will prefer non-contingent offers. So work with your agent to understand what the market is and what the sellers' expectations are.

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  • When shopping around for mortgage lenders, I found it worthwhile to get pre-approvals in different amounts across my price range from different lenders. That way, I could immediately pull out the pre-approval closest to my offer without having to re-work the numbers with the lender, or tip my hand that I could afford more than I was offering. Sep 14, 2023 at 16:15

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