Shopping around to get pre-approval for a 1st time home purchase

2 Replies

As the title states, I am looking to purchase my first home (To live in) and I would like to get pre-approved very soon. I was exploring the option of both conventional 20% down and FHA loans. I had several questions regarding pre-approval and the loan types:

1. When shopping around for a loan, only 1 hard pull will affect my credit(In the 30 day period), no matter the type of loan I apply for, correct?

2. Are there any special first time home buyer programs that offer great rates as well as waive any fees to strong candidate lenders (For reference, I have a perfect credit history with a score of about 800)?

3. Any benefits to cosigning a mortgage with a spouse (Spouse has credit score in high 700s), or am I better off signing for it on my name only? (For the price range I am looking at, I am not concerned about not having enough income)

Thank you!

Originally posted by @Adam Juodis :

As the title states, I am looking to purchase my first home (To live in) and I would like to get pre-approved very soon. I was exploring the option of both conventional 20% down and FHA loans. I had several questions regarding pre-approval and the loan types:

1. When shopping around for a loan, only 1 hard pull will affect my credit(In the 30 day period), no matter the type of loan I apply for, correct?

2. Are there any special first time home buyer programs that offer great rates as well as waive any fees to strong candidate lenders (For reference, I have a perfect credit history with a score of about 800)?

3. Any benefits to cosigning a mortgage with a spouse (Spouse has credit score in high 700s), or am I better off signing for it on my name only? (For the price range I am looking at, I am not concerned about not having enough income)

Thank you!

1. Definitely check with some of your close family members, friends, and colleagues first for lender recommendations. Yes, multiple lender inquiries on your credit within that window will count as one inquiry. That said, even if your credit dipped down to 760, you're still considered the highest credit tier out there. So, I would worry more about choosing a lender that can provide you value by collaborating with you and sharing with you all available options specific to your hopes, dreams, and goals - at competitive interest rates and top-notch services than a small dip on your credit scores.

2. Oftentimes than not, FTHB State or County programs help with the biggest challenges for most people - the down payment and closing costs. That said, with those programs interest rates are not better than what you can secure on your own with a standard loan with any lender. Why? That's because nothing is free. States and Counties have to make money too. So if you're able to come up with your own funds, go that route.

3. If spouse is not opposed to NOT be obligated on the loan and you can qualify on your own, then I would say go for it. It saves her the headache of being asked to provide documents, DNA, etc. Kidding 😀. In all seriousness she will thank you. She can be on the Deed. Just show at closing and sign with you - and you and she jointly owns home together.

If you need referrals to any MLO in IL let me know as I have plenty friends in that area that will be happy to help you and your wife in your journey. 

Best of luck. 


@Adam Juodis

1. Correct, multiple mortgage lender pulls within 30 days only counts as 1 hard inquiry for credit score purposes, but if you are a 800 score you have absolutely nothing to worry about.  Your credit card balances fluctuating from month to month will impact your score more than a hard pull.

2. FTHB programs and down payment assistance are usually NOT worth it if you have the funds. No such thing as a free lunch. These programs not only jack up the interest rate, but there is a 5-10 year recapture or repayment. Once you factor in the higher cost from their rate, you are better off not taking it. It should only be used by someone who has very little funds and no other options.

3. If your goal is to acquire more properties, especially by house hacking, then do not include her.  Then she can buy the next one in her name.  Depending on the property type(s) you are buying, it's usually wise to keep things separate to maximize your buying power to get as many properties with low down payments as possible.  Divide and conquer!

I'm local here in IL and I work with a lot of BP members, let me know if you have any other questions or want to talk strategy.

Best of luck!

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