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Most lenders today can pre-approve you easily and without hassle for a mortgage. A pre-approval is essential to obtain in order to make an offer in today’s market. Now with the limited liquidity in the mortgage market, every offer will have to have a legitimate pre-approval attached. A pre-approval is based on your income, debt, assets, and credit report.  Lenders will have you fill out the mortgage application, review your credit report, verify your employment and assets. When you are pre-approved, you know exactly what the maximum loan amount will be.

Make sure you are pre-approved by a local, qualified lender. They know this market and all local home buying products. As your Realtor®, I have worked with many lenders. Below I have listed some of the best in the Washington DC area. It’s a great idea to interview some of the lenders below. I have a great working relationship with all of them and we have the same goal in mind-to provide you with great service. I recommend them because I know my clients will be working with great agents who have access to a wide variety of loan products.


Lauren Geraghty

Wachovia Mortgage

Arlington, VA

(703) 304-7062 cell

(703) 247-1810 office





Paul Massaro

Countrywide Home Loans

Washington, DC

(202) 822-6363 direct





Peter Accolla

McLean Mortgage Corporation

(703) 888-6889 direct

(703) 738-0912 office





Jason Gold

Bank of America

Washington, DC

(202) 624-3768 direct





Mark Eigenbrode

B.F. Saul Mortgage/Chevy Chase Bank

Bethesda, MD



By asking the right questions, and knowing exactly what your needs are, you can find the right loan for you. There are certain approaches that you can take while mortgage shopping that can cost or save you money.

It is still true that the better qualifications you have, the lower your interest rate will be. However, if your credit isn't perfect or you don't have a hefty down payment, you still may be able to get a loan. Just be aware that your monthly payment should always be affordable to you.

Before speaking with a lender, know what monthly dollar amount you feel comfortable committing to. Then when you discuss mortgage pre-approval with your lender, it is easier for you to determine the monthly amount and what value of home the monthly amount translates into. Do not put yourself in the position where you will be paying more each month than you intended simply because the "dream" house requires it.

Do your research on the types of mortgages available to you and find the one that best suits your needs. There are a number of considerations to be made in terms of finding the best mortgage for each individual: 

  • What type of market are you in? Are the interest rates falling or rising?
  • Do you want a fixed mortgage rate, where you will always know what your payment is going to be?
  • What are your long-term goals? Do you intend to resell the property? Do you only need the mortgage for a short time?

In the past few years, one factor in the rising housing market was the ease and availability to obtain a mortgage through "specialty" products that got buyers into homes beyond their means. These loans included adjustable rate mortgages, no income/verification loans, interest-only loans, 100% financing, etc. Some homeowners had the knowledge going into these packages that these loans were a temporary tool to get into their home and had a plan of action to refinance soon after to a fixed rate. However, many homeowners did not understand fully what these loans entailed and were talked into them by predatory lenders. Unfortunately, many homeowners are now finding their interest rates rising dramatically, and could be facing foreclosure. Reports say in the next couple years, over $500 billion worth of home loans will be adjusting to higher interest rates. For more information on the sub prime mortgage crisis, go to Responsible Lending. Most of these loan products no longer exist, but it is still very important to be able to spot red flags in loan packages to make sure you are not getting into a financial position you will not be able to maintain over the long term.

Rachel Burns. Your Home. My Mission. Evers & Co. Washington DC Real Estate, DC Real Estate, Alexandria Real Estate, Northern Virginia Real Estate, Luxury DC Real Estate.
Rachel Burns
(202) 384-5140
Rachel Burns. Your Home. My Mission. Evers & Co. Washington DC Real Estate, DC Real Estate, Alexandria Real Estate, Northern Virginia Real Estate, Luxury DC Real Estate.
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