Job transfer? Joining your spouse‐to‐be? Returning to your family and hometown? You have plenty of company. U.S. Census data shows that among the more than 35 million Americans who move each year, these are some of the top reasons for relocating. In 2017, the Current Population Survey showed that 11 percent of U.S. residents moved, with 46 percent of those citing either family or employment as the motivation.
Once you've decided to move, finding a home likely is your top priority. And if you are among the 34 percent of mobile Americans who relocate to a different county, including those moving out of state, your home search will require you to start fresh, with everything from neighborhoods, to schools, banking and financial services.
A local lender is an ideal partner—beyond helping you with a mortgage—as you take those critical first steps in your relocation and home search. They should have broad expertise and strong relationships throughout your new community, and can help you choose a Realtor, identify desirable locations, school districts, entertainment areas and services you might need.
Finding a knowledgeable lender and establishing a trusted relationship will be key to a worry free relocation. Seeking a loan online might seem simple and efficient, but consider using a local lender who can help streamline the process and provide options to best fit your personal situation.
How much house can you afford? – A lender can help you determine how much you can borrow and how much you should spend for a home—not always the same amount. For example, being approved for a $250,000 mortgage doesn't necessarily mean you should borrow that much. Consider your other monthly expenses and your long‐term financial goals.
Mortgage pre‐approval – Work with your lender to complete a loan application so you can conduct your home search with confidence. Make sure you seek pre‐approval—not just pre‐qualification. The difference can be critical. Pre‐qualification is a simple initial step in the mortgage process, requiring that you supply a lender with basic information including debt, income and assets. It does not include an analysis of your credit report or actual ability to purchase a home.
It's best to get a fully documented pre‐approval, you'll complete a mortgage application and supply the lender with the documentation needed for a review of your financial background, including income, verified credit rating and down payment. Your lender then will be able to provide approval for a specific mortgage amount and an idea of your probable interest rate. If you find a home you want to buy, or get into a bidding war with other buyers, having financing in place could give you an advantage with the seller.
Still need to sell your current home? — Another advantage of establishing a relationship with a bank is the ability to set up a bridge loan, a short‐term loan against your current home, to help finance the purchase of your new home. Typically, bridge loans are given for a few weeks or months, but can be extended to a year or more, depending on your financial circumstances and how long it takes to sell your current home.
Set your priorities – Perhaps you've chosen the city or town where you want to live and you've zeroed in on an ideal neighborhood or school district. But even if your search is wide open, you'll want to identify at least a few basic needs and wants to make your search is focused and efficient. Keep the big picture in mind and compromise if needed. It's rare to find a perfect house in the ideal size, in the right neighborhood, in the top‐ranked school district. At a time when the housing inventory is tight and homes sell in hours or days, knowing your priorities and where you're willing to compromise can pay off.
If you're planning on relocating contact one of our advisors to learn more about financing options.