Windsor Cap Mortgage Lending Company

We are here to help demystify the process while getting home buyers into a house that they can proudly proclaim as their own.

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Bad Signs to Look for at an Open House

So, you’ve finally found a few homes that you could see yourself making a life in and it’s time to go to open houses. This is your first chance to get a real look at the conditions that you might be living in, so consider it as something of an interview with the house itself. Open houses grant you the opportunity to get a real feel for the place that photographs and official listings simply can’t provide.

You know what you’re looking for and which features of the home matter most to you. You might be so blinded by the shiny, new appliances in the kitchen that you end up missing some pretty big red flags along the tour. Don’t make this mistake! Instead, keep an eye out for these three common open house concerns before committing to any home in particular.

Many Area Homes are Up for Sale

It’s not uncommon or really that concerning if two or three homes in a several-block neighborhood are up for sale. More than that, however, could indicate that there is a problem with the neighborhood. Perhaps it is becoming unsafe or there is some other problem causing homeowners to flee.

If you still really love the house, try driving through the area at different times of day and night. This will help you develop a better understanding for the neighborhood. It could also serve you well to do an online search of any news headlines that center around that area. Your concern might be unfounded, and all of the departing families could be a coincidence. It happens.

There are Electrical Problems

Problematic electrical wiring can be a tremendous headache for new homeowners, often leading to expensive fixes that should have been handled by the previous owner long ago. When touring the house, make sure that all electrical outlets and switches work as they should. Test appliances to ensure that they turn off and on reliably. If anything falters or fails to work, you could be looking at a larger electrical problem.

The House Smells of Moisture or Mildew

Even the newest and most expensive homes can become afflicted by mold and mildew. Moisture becoming trapped in the various nooks and crannies of the home can lead to the accumulation of mold, which is responsible for many health ailments including allergies and asthma. A noticeable odor of mildew typically points to mold gathering somewhere in the house.

Some home sellers try to mask the telltale smell with air conditioners and candles. If the house smells very strongly of these artificial fragrances, it’s worth asking the homeowner about.

If any of these issues are present, you might want to move on to the next home on your list of considerations. If you are determined to get this particular house, however, you should ask the seller if there is any way that they would be open to repairing the problems before you make your purchase.

Understanding the Difference Between Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification

There is a lot of preparation that goes into obtaining a mortgage loan. Two steps along this path are pre-qualification and pre-approval for this loan. You may have heard these terms before and thought that they were interchangeable, meaning the same thing. This is a common error that prospective homeowners make, as the two terms certainly sound like they’d entail the same process. However, there are several important differences between pre-qualification and pre-approval.

Pre-Qualification is the First Step

You want to buy a home, but you aren’t sure how big of a loan you qualify for with your chosen lender. This is where pre-qualification can make a tremendous difference in how you shop for a home.

Pre-qualification is a simple and straight-forward process that gives prospective buyers an idea of how large a mortgage loan they can afford. This helps buyers and lenders feel more assured that the buyer will be able to pay back the loan in a timely, expected fashion.

In half an hour or less, the lending officer will briefly assess several aspects of your financial circumstances, including:

  • Your current income
  • Your current monthly (rotating) debts
  • Credit Score

This process is not an exact science, but it will give you a rough figure as to how much you qualify for, based on this small amount of information. If this number is up to par with where you want or need to be in regard to moving forward, you can then apply for pre-approval.

How Does Pre-Approval Differ from Pre-Qualification?

The process for pre-approval is quite similar in many ways to becoming pre-qualified, but a fair amount of documentation is required. Proof of identification, paycheck stubs, credit reports, bank statements, tax returns, and other documents will likely be required for you to proceed.

At the end of this process, wherein the loan officer will carefully examine your financial situation, you will be given a figure that reflects how large a mortgage you could be approved for. You will be given a pre-approval letter, which you can show to home sellers when you find the house that you want to purchase. This gives a competitive edge, as it shows the seller that you are serious about making this investment.

It also shows that you can provide the money that they are expecting for the sale of their home.

Pre-approval does not mean that you are automatically approved to make the purchase of a home. Keep in mind that, after coming to a successful offer with the seller, the loan will still need to be processed and approved.