In order to negotiate the best possible deal, you need to be prepared. The first step is to arrange for financing. Consult a direct lender who services the New Hampshire marketplace. Your loan originator should be experienced and work with a reputable, well-known company. The Paula Martin Group can refer you to a couple, but you’ll need to make the final decision on who you use.
Whomever you choose, your lender will be able to provide a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter. Most sellers won’t consider an offer without one. Pre-qualification letter from your lenders standpoint would be “If what you told me is true—and I haven’t checked—you’ll qualify for this sales price” while a pre-approval is “We’ve checked your credit and investigated what you’ve told us and you’ll qualify for this sales price”. Put yourself in the seller’s shoes—which would you prefer?
Obtaining a mortgage can be an arduous process. Your lender isn’t being difficult, they are operating under a very rigorous set of guidelines and trying to give you estimates you can rely on when making an offer you can afford. A good originator will reduce the pain for you and will keep the surprises to a minimum.
Your lender should be exploring different types of loan options with you based on your situation, including conventional, FHA, VA, RD, and NHHFA. Every loan has its own set of guidelines—both you and the property will need to qualify. Always be prepared to tell your REALTOR what program you want to use.
It should be clear to you how much money you will need for your down payment, closing costs, escrow and pre-paids. Your originator should tell you how much money you’ll need to show in your accounts as well as whether someone else—a seller or perhaps a family member—may contribute and how much.
Lenders will consider homeowner’s insurance and property taxes (also condominium fees) in the qualification process. Be sure you know the amounts used so you can compare individual listings to these numbers. New Hampshire property taxes and condo fees can vary substantially from location to location.
Your lender will stay in direct contact with the IRS regarding your income tax filings—you must be up to date—any money you owe may be added to your debt.
Do not make any large purchases once you are in the process—and do not have any large amounts of unexplained money deposited in your accounts.