real estate

Buying a home? Here's how to do it right

Get preapproved for a mortgage
Get preapproved for a mortgage | Stocked House Studio/Shutterstock.com

Get preapproved for a mortgage

If you need a loan to buy the home, a real estate agent will want you to talk with a mortgage professional.

As Jay Dacey, a mortgage broker for Metropolitan Financial Mortgage Co. in Minneapolis, explains, "A good Realtor will ask you what your criteria are and set up a search through the MLS for you, but a good Realtor is also going to say, 'The next step is for you to contact a mortgage professional and make sure you're preapproved.'"

A mortgage preapproval makes your purchase offer more credible. Even more important, when you get a preapproval the lender will tell you how much you can afford to borrow. So a mortgage preapproval is a budgeting tool that lets you know how much you can afford to spend on a home. It prevents you from overspending and narrows down the price range of houses you look at.

SEARCH RATES: Get preapproved for a mortgage today.

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