Please feel free to call my office at 516 765-2800 with any questions you may have, even if you're not quite ready to buy or sell.
I thought it may be helpful if I could provide you with a little advice on how to proceed with your purchase or sale, once you've made the decision to do it. Let’s focus on buyers, and where to start in shopping for a new home.
Before contacting a real estate agent, reviewing the classifieds and looking at houses, you need to know how much house you can afford. This is determined by how much cash you have saved, together with the size of the mortgage you will qualify for and can afford to repay each month. So the first thing to do would be to begin to compare mortgage rates and terms, and to talk to a mortgage lender. That person will inquire as to your assets, income and debt, determine how much financing you qualify for, and perhaps even issue a "pre-qualification" that just might make your offer to purchase a home more attractive than someone else's. In addition, the lender will advise as to the amount of cash you should set aside for closing costs, an item frequently overlooked by first time buyers. Armed with this information, you'll know exactly in which price range you should be shopping.
You should also be aware of the difference between a mortgage broker and mortgage lender. A broker acts as an independent agent for several mortgage lenders and gets paid for that service (by either the borrower or the lender). They are particularly helpful if you have a problem credit history or other negative factors in your application. You would only need to make one application to the broker who will then shop it around to different lenders until they find the best loan terms available to you. A mortgage banker (or a traditional bank) makes the loan directly to you. My office will be happy to provide names of reputable lenders with whom we've dealt successfully in the past. \