Get a lender!!

Greetings!

I am 'cranking up' the old blog and getting things started because I have waited way to long to start and in order to start, you have to start somewhere.

So I thought it would be appropriate to start where I tell all my clients to start - with a lender!

Why? - Good question, thank you in the back for asking!

Let's paint a scenario. You come to me and your all excited about buying your first house! You have been surfing Zillow for about a year, you know how much you want your monthly payment to be and you have found the perfect house! What could possibly go wrong. (By the way, all the realtors in the room are cringing right now because everything in this scenario screams at them what will most likely go wrong, but we're going to get to a lot of that later, for now we are just dealing with the lender part of things)

So you send me your listing (listing is a fancy Realtor word for "House that is listed in the local MLS [MLS is "Multiple Listing Service" and is a database of homes that are for sale --- more about that later]"), I look it up and, unfortunately, that house sold 2 years ago. However, based on that listing, I am able to send you 2 houses that are very similar that are active ("Active" is our MLS designation for available and open to offers) and you choose one that you like. We rush out to look at it because at this moment (March of '16) we have low inventory and houses are getting snapped up in 4 or 5 days.

After looking at it, you guys decide that you like it and want to put in an offer. We put in the offer, it gets accepted and we move into our inspection phase while you apply for financing. (At this point I am ignoring some pretty key steps - like I would probably not have shown you the house and would definitely not have written up an offer without you having a lender and being pre-approved for a loan, but this is an illustration people... it illustrates why you need a lender.) Lets say the house was $200,000 (average for the Spokane market right now) and you were planning on putting 20% ($40,000) down. So you stop by your favorite bank, Bank of America (settle down everyone, this is an illustration) and get that process started. Then you meet the inspector at the property and give him (say) $300 for the inspection. As the inspection is wrapping up and you are walking to you car, your lender sends you an email - Congratulations, you have been qualified for a $150,000 loan!

Phew, that was a ridiculously long illustration to drive home a simple point. Before you start shopping, you need to know how much you can afford. A good lender can work with you to figure out the best loan program for you. There are many different ways to borrow money to buy a house and there are advantages and disadvantages to any program. One thing I tell all my clients - and I believe this very strongly - make sure that your lender is someone you can trust. I have worked with a few lenders that I recommend and trust. As I develop this site, I will offer summaries on who I work with and a little bit about them, but if you want a personal referral, shoot me a message - jonbiron@gmail.com or call/text 509.492.2043.

Once you have a lender and, together, have come up with a purchase price you are comfortable with, we can start looking for a house.

Many times, a seller will not be willing to consider an offer if a pre-approval letter is not attached. It can be a very big waste of time for the seller, the agents and most of all for you if you have not already been pre-approved for a loan. The process is fairly painless and you will be so much more confident in what you can afford - and more importantly, what you will be comfortable paying.

As I mentioned above, I will fill these out with a mini-profile, but here are some lenders that I have worked with and feel confident recommending:

Keven Martinez: Heritage Home Loans 509.499.5314/keven@hhlnorthwest.com
Ian Anderson: Mountain West Bank 509.868.1681/ianderson@mountainwestbank.com
David Grube: Washington Trust Bank 509.353.3928/dgrube@watrust.com
Lane Yonago: Bank of America 509.499.1152/lane.yonago@bankofamerica

"Tell 'em Jon sent ya'!"

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